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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Come on now, Alligator editorial board. Have you gone nuts? What's up with telling students their votes won't matter on Jan. 29? It is this type of thinking you'd expect from the Fox News pundits, not a beacon of hope in the journalism industry such as you guys.

Sure, the fact is Florida's presidential primary has been moved up to Jan. 29, but let's do some fact-checking. Yes, a heavily Republican-controlled Legislature voted to move up the date, but many of Florida's leading Democrats were on board with the idea and still are (not just Sen. Bill Nelson).

Yes, it is also true the Democratic National Committee said Florida will likely not have any delegates decided by direct popular vote - but let's not forget the Republicans have also lost half of their delegates as well.

And yes, it is true the situation doesn't present us with the best circumstances, but that certainly doesn't mean it is not worth voting. Heck, if anything, it means your vote matters even more than it would otherwise!

Let me play devil's advocate and shine the Jan. 29 primary in a positive light. Florida is the fourth most populous state in the country and it has the second most diverse state population, according to "Florida's Megatrends: Critical Issues in Florida." Any candidate who can win Florida will not only have a huge advantage going into the general election but will have also figured out the pulse of the nation.

Florida is a trendsetter, and its population offers politicians challenges they will not find elsewhere. It is about time we take our rightful place as the center of attention.

Jan. 29 is a full week before the so-called "Super-Duper Tuesday." For a full week, all the media's attention will be on Florida, which will have a huge effect on every other primary. Florida will be a national trendsetter, and it will generate copycat results in the Feb. 5 primaries.

Let's not forget a little political nuance: The national conventions are just for show nowadays. The front-runner will already be decided.

So what's the ruling? Democrat or not, choosing not to cast a vote on Jan. 29 just doesn't add up.

Don't forget that Gainesville city elections also occur Jan. 29. Not voting in them is just plain silly, downright un-American and very un-Gator-like. So on Jan. 29, remember to vote 'em silly, Gators!

Frank Bracco is the director of Chomp the Vote.

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