Editor’s Note: The following is an open letter from student leaders on college campuses across Colorado, urging their peers not to vote for a third party.
To Our Fellow Colorado College Students:
This is not the year for a protest vote. As Colorado millennials, we have a big responsibility this November. The road to the White House goes right through our purple state, and our generation – millennials – carries enormous influence in deciding whether our state goes red or blue.
This is not the year for a protest vote.
We know many of you were feelin’ the Bern. Many of us were too. But as Senator Sanders himself said, “Hillary Clinton will make an outstanding President,” and we must do everything we can to make certain that she is our next President, not Donald Trump.
We have too much at stake this year to risk a Donald Trump presidency. Think of the policies so many of us may have come to take for granted with President Obama in the White House that could disappear if Trump takes office. LGBT rights. Affordable and accessible healthcare. A woman’s right to choose. Religious freedom. Humane immigration policy. Support for a living wage.
Some of us might be privileged enough to take these for granted and choose to make a statement by voting for a third party candidate. But, for many, a Trump presidency threatens these rights, and as voters, we cannot in good conscience let him into the Oval Office.
Colorado will likely be the tipping point in November, and the decision will come down to our generation. So the question is, are we going to vote for third party candidates, which is essentially a vote for Trump? Or are we going to come together and back the most qualified and capable candidate and ensure that Hillary Clinton, not Donald Trump, is the next President of the United States?
We must come together as college students and as Coloradans to take great responsibility with the power of our vote.
We should use our votes to stand up for what we know is the best choice for our future. Your vote matters. Every single vote in Colorado matters, more this year than ever.
The next 15 days will shape the next 15 years. This is not the year for a protest vote.
Matt Bailey, CO-Founder, UNC Dems; Adam Berger, Outreach Fellow, CU Students for Hillary; Matt Bernall, President, UNC Dems; Kara Billington, Member, CSU Democrats; Spencer Biro, Executive Director, CU Student Progressive Alliance; Cat Bourne, Member, CSU Democrats; Ashley Brown, Vice President, SURJ Reproductive Rights Group at CSU; Danny Brown, External Coordinator, Divest DU; Sophia Brown, Member, Colorado College Dems; Beau Burckhart, Executive Campus Fellow, CU Students for Hillary; Eric Cantor, President, Sigma Lambda Beta at Auraria Campus; Sandra Carillo, President, Kappa Delta Chi Fraternity; Kaitlyn Cherry, Member, Graduate Student Instructor at CSU; Analise Cole-Weiss, Member, CSU Democrats; Sasha Ebrahimi, Outreach Fellow, CU Students for Hillary; Cidney Fisk, Student Group Leader, DU Democrats; Christian Gallegos, UCCS Dems Liaison, UCCS Latino Student Union; Wendy Girsham, Member, CSU Democrats; Erika Gulija, Member of Editing Committee, CU Boulder Honors Journal; Madison Handy, Member, Alpha Phi at DU; Katherine Henjum, Co-President, Let Girls Learn CU; William Kim, Brother in Fiji at UCCS/CC; Erin Kiser, Congressional Races Intern, CU Democrats; Allie Mitchell, Member, Athletic Dept. at CSU; Sabreen Mohammed, Vice President, Somali Student Association at Auraria Campus; Madelyn Murray, Member, UNC Dems; Bridgett Neff, Member, CSU Democrats; Paige Palten, Member, UCCS Spectrum; Cosmo Parllarito, Outreach Fellow, CU Students for Hillary; Haley Ratcliff, Member, CSU Democrats; Hayley Ratcliff, Member, Triathlon Team at CSU; Becca Rathburn, Member, CSU Democrats; Mercedes Renshaw, President, CSU Democrats; Oriana Richmond, President, Buffs for Reproductive Justice; Mary Ricker, President, Rams for Hillary; Serena Roberts, Executive Campus Fellow, CU Students for Hillary; Courtney Robertson, Member, CSU Democrats; Drew Robinson, Fraternity Brother, Chi Psi at CU; Alonso Rodriguez, Member, CSU Democrats; Jennifer Romero, Student Association, Latino Student Association at Auraria Campus; Kaylee Salazar, President, DU Law Dems; Emily Sheridan, President, CU Democrats; Kayla Shock, Member, UCCS Black Student Union; Alex Simon, Member, CSU Democrats; Nadia Solano, President, Pi Lamba Chi at Auraria Campus; Elly Steinmetz Louis, Communications Director, CU Political Science; Cyanne Stonesmith, Co-President, Let Girls Learn CU; Joely Tynes, Executive Campus Fellow, CU Students for Hillary; Jacksen Walkup, Member, UNC Dems; and Tyler Warner, CO-Founder, UNC Dems.