Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Youth voter turnout typically low, especially for midterm elections

November 4, 2014

The youth vote is consistently behind other age groups when it comes to voter turnout, and by a large margin. According to the Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, the last midterm election in 2010 saw  24 percent of 18-to-29-year-olds show up to the polls, far behind the national average of all ages, which hovered around 45 percent.

And the fact that a president isn’t on this year’s ballot does not help .

Pew Research Center  says the average voter turnout is about 50 percent higher in presidential elections compared to midterms. The reason why the youth vote lags behind other age groups is up for debate. Sophomore education major Meredith Wright said a combination of factors are playing a role in the fact that she likely will not vote on Tuesday.

“I don’t know anywhere to vote,” said Wright, who is registered to vote in Lansing. “I didn’t get a lot of information on where voting was around here.”

Another issue facing Wright, and many other students is lack of time and accessibility.

“Getting there is a problem,” Wright said. “I don’t have a car on campus, and I don’t have a lot of time off. I’m in the band, so evenings are out and I’ve got classes during the day.”

Another issue with youth is their distrust in the political system. In 2013, only 14 percent of 18-to-29 year olds saw the country as heading in the right direction, and over half would replace “every member of congress” if given the chance, according to the  Harvard Political Review.

“I’m not even registered to vote in the state,” veterinary technology junior Kelsi Reszke said. “It’s not really my thing.”

In addition to lack of time, Reszke said she thought herself and other students wouldn’t make a significant impact.

“For me, it’s that I know that one vote isn’t going to make a difference,” Reszke said.

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