Turn up the Turnout To Vote Ft. Bernie Sanders

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Regardless of perspectives on Brett Kavanaugh’s ascension to the Supreme Court or Kanye West’s new propensity for wearing “Make America Great Again” caps, it’s clear what the news cycle is urging students to do: vote.


Sen. Bernie Sanders espoused this message on Oct. 3 when he spoke to around 300 students, staff members and visitors of the University of Maryland’s campus as a part of the latest edition of The New York Times’ Get With The Times guest-speaker series.


The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center’s Gildenhorn Recital Hall was the location of “Turn Up The Turnout With Bernie Sanders,” an event hosted by New York Times National Political Correspondent Alex Burns.

Leigh Vogel / The New York Times

With coverage of the midterm elections in full-swing - the Maryland 2018 gubernatorial election is set for Nov. 6, 2018 - figures like Sanders are urging students to act upon the 26th Amendment, which gave 18-year-olds the right to suffrage.


“The times are too dangerous for you to sit it out,” said Sanders.


As part of a partnership with Her Campus, this university’s chapter president, Ambriah Underwood, and senior editor Hannah Brockway were a few of the students, both at the event and via pre-recorded messages, to be able to ask Sanders questions about his viewpoints on the future of the nation.


“Where do you believe the most opportunity for growth or improvement is in our country?” Brockway asked Sanders.


Two of the points of improvement the senator highlighted in his response were the ability to improve employment rates as well as to act as a leading figure in reducing the impacts of climate change.


“Other areas [for growth] are the need for universal child care,” said Sanders, calling the child care system “basically dysfunctional.”


Another system Sanders said needs to be improved: health care. When asked by Burns what the true extent of health care for all meant, Sanders replied - to the laughter and cheers of the crowd - “Health care for all means health care for all.”


In addition, Sanders added that voting helps encourage the evolution governmental bodies, whether that means voting for people whose ideologies match your own or improving the amount of diversity seen in these entities, and thus, young people have to be actively engaged in the legislative process if they want to see real change.


“So, if you want to create a Congress or state government that listens to the needs of ordinary people and not just wealthy campaign contributors, people have got to get involved,” said Sanders, speaking directly to the audience. “The future is in your hands.”