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Less than 100 years ago, women were beaten and jailed on the streets for fighting for the right to vote, ultimately winning the passage of the 19th amendment. People have fought and died for our right to vote, including fellow countrymen over in the Middle East today. We have the power to make a very real difference in our society and honor their sacrifices by partaking in our great democracy and vote.

Did you know that less than 1% of Orange County voters under the age of 25 have voted so far this election season?

With over 50,000 students at UCF, the student vote can make a huge difference, especially when many local elections are won by just a few hundred votes. Yet our voices remain silent. It is no wonder that the elected officials in Tallahassee continue to raise college tuition costs each year, while cutting funding to healthcare, education and Bright Future scholarships - they don't care about students because students just don't care enough to vote in the local elections. How can the be held accountable when all we care about is the presidential elections?

Be the change you wish to see in the world - take some time out, register to vote, update your voter registration address, research the issues, and get out and vote in the local elections on August 26th and the general election on November 4th. Local school board, seats on the county government, state representatives, and Florida's governor office all are being elected this fall and they have huge influence on decisions that affect your life. Whether the issues are about equality, women's health, the environment, medical marijuana, education - whatever it is - don't let your voice be silent - make it heard today - get up, get out, and vote. If you care deeply about an issue or candidate, take it a step further and join the campaign for that cause.

For more information on voting in Orange County, visit ocfelections.com and elections.orlandosentinel.com

Very truly,

Ricky Ly

UCF SGA Student Senator, 35th Student Senate

UCF Alumni Class of '08

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