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Topic of the week: What's at stake for you in this election?

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Side-by-side photo of former Vice President Joe Biden and President Donald Trump. Photos both by Gage Skidmore/Flickr.

This story was produced as part of the Daily Wildcat's "Election Guide" special print edition, published Wednesday, Oct. 21, and available on campus or online.

Lauren Borelli

The status of the environment is precariously teetering on the point of no return in this election. Let’s admit the facts: Climate change is real, nothing we have done so far is going to save the environment and something is going to have to change if we want a future on this planet. It is our job, by right of living on this little blue dot, that we open our eyes to the damage we have inflicted on it. The polar ice caps are melting at a record pace leading to drastic consequences, including but not limited to entire islands and miles of shoreline being swallowed by the sea. In recent years, an unprecedented number of wildfires have devastated millions and scorched hundreds of miles of forests. Your vote, more than ever before, holds the power to save the environment before it is too late. Admittedly, both candidates have their flaws, but do your research and figure out who has the environment’s best interests at heart, or is at the very least willing to admit it’s real. This election, my vote will be put towards pulling our heads out of the sand and actually doing something worth while to reverse the damage we’ve done.

Aidan Rhodes

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Democracy is the biggest issue for me in this election. Our current president has made it his mission — and subsequently the mission of his party — to undermine our nation’s democratic process. In this election we aren’t voting for candidates so much as for the future of our nation as one where the government is ultimately accountable to the people. Our democracy is frustrating. It’s full of arcane laws and institutions that infringe on more rights than they protect. We are far from equal protection for all but we are infinitely closer than we were a century ago, or two for that matter. That progress has been made by marching and speaking out, and by voting. 

Voting in this election, I will cast my ballot for our future. I will vote for our right to protest and speak out. I will vote for our right to vote going forward. I will vote for all the women, people of color, immigrants and LGBTQ+ people who aren’t yet equal in this country. I will vote for our future as a democracy, instead of the autocracy the current administration and its party are desperately pulling us towards. 

Andrea Moreno

his election is the first presidential election I will be able to vote in, so it is extremely important that I do not waste it. I am a woman, Mexican and a part of the LGBTQ+ community. This means that there is a lot at stake for me this election. Many conservative nominees are pro-life and would like to make abortions illegal in most cases, which I feel would be infringing on the rights of a woman to choose what she wants to do with her own body. As a woman of Mexican heritage, whether Trump’s administration has made it harder to immigrate into the United States or not, Trump has been extremely open about being opposed to immigration. Although I already live here, many of my family members have wanted to obtain citizenship and have been going through the process legally. Yet, they still have not had any progress or an answer for more than 10 years. I only hope that it will become quicker and more organized. The LGBTQ+ community has also seen uncertainty with government decisions for decades. However, as some rights were given to the community throughout the years, we have also lost some during the Trump administration’s time in office. For example, Trump has banned transgender people from serving in the military and he has also rescinded certain civil rights from transgender students. All three of these issues are near and dear to my heart, but there are many more that will affect the way of life for many people. We continue to see discrimination and racism, and mishandling of a pandemic and of the military. Of course, these issues will not suddenly go away by electing a new president, but we must start somewhere.

Geraldine Espinosa

This upcoming election is like no other and so much is at stake for so many. While casting my ballot I am going to be keeping some people that I love in mind. A handful of people near and dear to me cannot vote, despite how much they would like to, due to felony disenfranchisement and/or their citizenship status in this country. I am voting for them in hopes of electing a candidate that will validate their experiences and prioritize their needs. Growing up in Tucson, in such close proximity to the border, the topic of immigration and the border wall is very close to my heart. Issues such as these have always been prevalent in my community and have been majorly disregarded and have been made invalid by the current administration. I am choosing to vote in hopes of helping elect a candidate that will protect the people in my community: BIPOC folx, poor people and those who are undocumented. 

Kayleigh Cook

This month, I’ve cast my first vote for a presidential candidate. Yet, I feel the exhaustion of a lifetime from the last four years of constant fear, confusion and disbelief — all of the feelings that have been building to this moment. My biggest concern is the environment, plain and simple. If humans continue to contribute to climate change at the rate they have since the Industrial Revolution, half of the human population will die from natural disasters before we get an opportunity to truly fix the other pressing issues facing the country and the world. Not only that, but climate change disproportionately affects impoverished people, who are disproportionately BIPOC folks, which further entrenches the inequity that exists in America to this day. We need a president who will acknowledge that climate change is real, racism exists and changes to our systems need to happen. Dammit, I want a president that isn’t so insane that I wake up every morning dreading what awful thing he has said next. In this election, I’m voting for our security as a nation, the individual rights of every person no matter sexual orientation, gender identification, race, religious affiliation or ethnicity. I’m voting to ensure we have inhabitable land for every person one hundred years from now. I’m voting for every citizen in the United States to have their opportunity at life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We are not truly free until everyone is free. 


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