Election season is now over, with some shocking results and some predictable ones. We would like to commend the many students who turned out to vote and all the volunteers who spent their daylight hours getting thousands of students registered.
A development we noticed this election cycle was the use of social media from all sides. Today, Facebook flooded our newsfeeds with notifications of people who voted in this election with the “I am a Voter” app, which NPR reported made a significant difference. When students and young people participate in the discussion, whether on campus or online, they’re participating in democracy. Getting friends to the polls this year mattered.
But we should not forget that although the campaigns are over, our democracy runs on more than just ballots. Now is the time to shift our attention from contests and polls to the more important work of governing. We cannot just go back to our home and wait until the next barrage of election ads to pay attention to government. We need to hold our newly-elected officials accountable, to be sure they solve the problems they have promised to address, to set aside the vitriol of the campaign trail and renew a spirit of bipartisanship. Otherwise, when we find ourselves debating the exact same issues next election, we will have nobody to blame but ourselves.