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A drawing of a box that says "voter guide" with the Nevada Sagebrush initials on a paper above it with little red wings around it and blue stars.
Brooke Germain/Nevada Sagebrush
Voter guide ballot illustration by Brooke Germain.

For years, people have seen their TV screens and media filled with election ads from different candidates running in their states. Every two years, candidate faces flash before your eyes. 

People have heard their parents discuss candidates and had teachers talk about elections. 

Politics is always talked about, but the conversation becomes more highlighted during the summer and fall months during the election years. 

And yet, many people close their eyes and wait for the ads to go away. 

This time, it could be worth your while to peek a bit and open your eyes to consider voting. 

Even though many of you have felt through the years that your vote may not matter, The Nevada Sagebrush, many of your mentors, school administrators and even your university president are here to tell you that your vote does matter.

The whole political spiel of hearing “your vote matters” again and again does get old, but there’s value in it, something this entire guide has been encouraging. If you want to be heard and acknowledged in the decision making process for issues that directly involve you and your future, here’s your chance to do so. 

Now that you have the information and the knowledge of everything you need to know about the midterm election, it is time to act and cast your vote. 

If the Sagebrush hasn’t already given you enough motivation to vote, here’s some advice and motivation from the deans at your university and President Sandoval to help you feel important enough to cast your vote.

Brian Sandoval, President of the University of Nevada, Reno:

“The foundation of our democratic society has always been free and fair elections. A participatory democracy like ours needs the involvement of every person. This is why it is so critical to exercise one’s right to vote.”

One of the things that is truly heartening to me and is reason to be optimistic about our future is how students are exercising their right to vote. We are seeing a new generation that is highly involved in what our future will be like. Young people truly care about the future. And, young people, for several election cycles now, are demonstrating that they care about voting by participating in impressive numbers. When we combine these two things – caring about the future and using the ballot box to show how you care about the future – there is no limit to what we are capable of achieving as a society.

I wish to encourage all of our students to participate and vote in this midterm election, and to participate and vote in every election throughout their lives. We hear often that ‘this election is the most important of our lifetimes.’ The key here is to remember that every election is important, and that every vote matters. Every citizen has the right to weigh in on the actions and policies for all levels of government. Your vote will always make a difference.”

Matt Means, Dean of Honors College:

“Of all the great opportunities afforded to us in this country, the right to vote is surely one of the most consequential.  Every student can enact transformational change in our society by availing themselves of this singular privilege.  Each vote is an expression of passion, conviction, and hope.  My wish is for every student to promote their dreams for the future by voting. It matters.  YOU matter … and those of us who work at the University of Nevada, Reno, are grateful for the honor to serve and advocate for you every day.”

Lillian C. Wichinsky, Interim Dean and Associate Professor School of Social Work:

“I first registered to vote on my 18th birthday, and have voted in every election since. I believe my vote can make a difference in the lives of those who are often without a voice. While we are not required to vote, participating in our democratic process allows us to exercise our power to make a difference. Think about the amazing laws that have changed our world through voting, a woman’s right to vote, victims rights, native American voting rights, American with Disabilities Act, … these are just a few. We don’t always get what we want when we vote, but I like to believe that trying to make a difference is half the battle. Exercise your voice … it makes a difference.”

Markus Kemmelmeier, Vice Provost of Graduate Education and Dean of the Graduate School:

“Vote like someone’s life depends on it. Because it does. Maybe it is not your life that is immediately impacted, but the life of your family, your friends, or the people in your neighborhood. Thinking through the issues, considering what is fair and just, and casting your vote is a way to help shape the political world around you. It is not necessarily something you do for yourself — it is what you do for others.”

Katherine R McCall, Interim Dean of the College of Science:

“Voting has always been a way to affirm my support for democracy. When I was 18, I voted by absentee ballot from Finland, and I can’t remember missing an election since.”

William “Bill” Payne, Dean of the College of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural Resources:

“I could give many reasons for which it is important to vote. As Dean of the College of Agriculture, Biotechnology & Natural Resources, I have seen how who we put in office can influence much of what we are trying to accomplish. Our elected leaders influence funding on research, education and extension related to agriculture and food security in our state and our country. They also influence policy related to management and conservation of our natural resources and mitigating climate change, which affect all of us. They make funding and policy decisions related to nutrition and health. And of course, they create policy and allocate resources for higher education, including grants and loans for students. By voting, you are exercising your right to influence the directions you want our country to go on these and other matters. It is an important opportunity and responsibility.”

Alan G. Stavitsky, Dean of the Reynolds School of Journalism and Professor of Journalism:

“The stakes are high for our community, our state and the nation on so many fronts. Now more than ever it’s vital that students vote.”

Paul Hauptman, Dean of the UNR School of Medicine:

“If we have learned anything from the last few campaign cycles, it is that elections have consequences. Two noteworthy areas — education and health care policy — are greatly impacted, whether we are talking about student loan repayment, NIH funding, support for public universities and so much more. The message is clear: get out and participate by voting on November 8th!”

Today is the last day of early voting, so cast your vote as soon as you can. Otherwise, you can send in your mail-in ballot up to a postmarked date of Nov. 8, or you can vote in-person on Election Day — this Tuesday — by 7 p.m.

Jaedyn Young can be reached at or on Twitter @jaedyn_young3.

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