College Students Low Turnout isn’t Personal

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Young voters are notorious for not turning out for presidential and midterm elections. However, there are many outside forces that can hinder a college person’s voter availability.

Taylor Worth, a junior at Arizona State University studying kinesiology, said, “I didn’t vote because I didn’t send in my application for an absentee ballot soon enough.”

For out of state college students, an absentee ballot is the only way to vote in elections. Especially in Arizona, where same day voter registration is not allowed.  But the education amongst college students about absentee ballots is low.

And even when students decide they want to vote within the state they attend college, the turnout is not always pleasing.

Evyn Marr, a sophomore at ASU, said, “I didn’t vote today because my Arizona voter registration didn’t get accepted.”

Many passionate voters do not get the opportunity to vote and fall into the category of ‘another young voter not voting.’

In Miki Kittilson’s opinion, a political science professor at ASU, “I think that voter turnout among people will be higher this year. Research suggests several reasons for lower turnout among young people. There is a life cycle affect where people are more likely to be registered and vote when they own a home and move less. There are also generational effects. Some young people see other forms of participation as more effective such as volunteering or protest.”

While there was a record number of younger voters taking a more active role in the midterm poles, it is hard to ignore what the numbers could be if it were easier for college students to vote for their home state while away at college.

Ally Trevino, a sophomore at ASU, said, “I didn’t vote today because I didn’t have time to completely educate myself and I didn’t want to make a dumb vote. Also, I had class and work and didn’t want to wait in the ASU line.”

Trevino, who is an Arizona native, represents a large population of college students. Many students juggle a job and school and voting day, which is not a national holiday, asks college students to take sometimes hours out of their schedule to go vote.

A recent call to action is to make November 6 a national holiday to encourage people to go vote without having to miss work or school. However, sometimes that might not be enough.

Kerston Corns, a California native and ASU student said, “Personally I didn’t vote because I just don’t feel like I have full knowledge about politics and the things I would have to vote for. I know the basic surface level of politics but not enough to where I can say I’m 100 percent confident in the things that I vote for. I think voting is great and yes everyone should vote but I feel like the problem with today’s day and age is social media has had so much influence on voting. Overall the reason I chose not to vote is because I feel like no vote is better than a knowledged vote.”

In a generation raised on the internet it is hard to not to be influenced by what they see online. It is hard to not read a politically charged Instagram post or Snap Chat story.

And for those students who are at college in a different state than their own, it is hard to educate themselves on their home states election. They are surrounded by ads geared towards their college state and only get active education on that states elections.

The college-aged generation is filled with students spread across the country in states far away from their home and given information through a phone screen. So, adding them to another statistic of a generation that did not vote is not the full truth.

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