3,000 miles won’t stop this Seattleite from voting

By Allison Desy

Michaela Rutschow is a third-year international studies major at American University. Despite being nearly 3,000 miles away from Washington, the state she is registered to vote in, Rutschow will be casting her vote in the midterm elections via absentee ballot this year.

After moving around often when she was younger for her father’s work, Rutschow’s family has been living in the Seattle area for about five years. She says she feels deeply connected to the liberal political sphere there.


“And I’m also fortunate enough to live in a state that has very liberal and progressive views,” said Rutschow. “So for me, I don’t get to see a lot of the devastation of limited access to birth control and healthcare, and stuff like that, because I live in a state that promotes progressive policy.”

Despite the city’s generally left-leaning policies, Rutschow said that Seattle is not immune to issues of racial bias and gentrification. She says that at times, the predominantly liberal views that are widely held by citizens and politicians throughout the area can cloud underlying issues.

“I think you have to take that liberal policy with a grain of salt, because it gives a blanket of comfort to feeling like you’re doing something good, when in reality, you could be just as bad or not involved,” she said. “I think people take for granted that we are so open and progressive… There’s still gentrification going on. We have this influx in housing, and cost of living has gone through the roof, especially the past five years that I’ve lived there.”

Rutschow says that the lack of bipartisanship is creating a serious divide between political parties in the country.

“There’s this wedge between political ideology that’s not great. And I think we saw that in the last election. And I think a lot of people voted for the party that they wanted to win, without understanding why they were voting, or who they were voting for,” said Rutschow.

Rather than focusing on political affiliation this election, she says she will be choosing who to vote for after reading up on each candidate’s platform and deciding what she believes. She said even if people do not feel fully informed, they should still vote.

“I’m just a strong believer that you should vote even if you feel like you don’t know. I just feel like you have a vote and you have the right to vote, so you should use it.”