Voting: Why is it Important?
Hood Democrat President Eric Gyamfi and Hood Republican President Jacob Keith discussed why the are involved in politics and why voting is important.
Eric Gyamfi and Jacob Keith
- The George B. Delaplaine Jr. School of Business
- Political Science
By Elena Rowe, Marketing and Communications Assistant
Voting is extremely important, especially in this political environment. Throughout history, people have sacrificed their lives (particularly women and African Americans) to have the right to vote. To vote means to voice your opinions to the federal and local government. Eric Gyamfi ’21, president of the Hood Democrats, and Jacob Keith ’21, president of the Hood Republicans, discussed why they are involved and provided great advice on the power of voting and why it’s important.
“I have always been involved with the political climate around me, so it was not stressful to take the position of president,” said Gyamfi, a business administration major with a marketing concentration. “I first became interested in politics when President Obama was elected in 2008. When presented this opportunity to be president of the club, there was no hesitation.”
Keith, a history and political science major, expressed similar thoughts: “I am very motivated with political activism in Frederick County where I was born and raised. In this current political climate, political discourse has become very radicalized. I want to push back to a more respectful way of thinking and speaking.”
With the election approaching on Tuesday, both expressed concern over the lack of voting within their age group. According to electproject.org,voters ages 60 and up are more than twice as likely to vote than those ages 18-29. For mid-term elections between 1984 and 2014, between 50 and 60 percent of people ages 60 and older voted. For the same time period, only about 20 percent of people ages 18 to 29 voted.
“Voting is very important for our age group,” said Gyamfi. “Frankly, if we don’t go out and vote, we are telling our elected officials we don’t really care. And I don’t think that’s the message young people want to display. I have talked to some of my peers, and some people believe local politics don’t affect them as much as national politics. That is far from the case.”
Both students have worked on political campaigns in Frederick County. These positions have allowed them to learn the ropes of politics and future career paths. Gyamfi hopes to run for office one day. As presidents of these two political clubs, they hope to be involved and engage the community.
They want to talk with students and area synagogues in Frederick in the wake of the shooting in Pittsburgh to talk about their concerns and how they and others can take small steps to stop violence. They also want to organize a debate on free speech and a trip to the White House.