Why Don’t Students Vote?
College students are well known for their low numbers choosing to vote, or their inability to call out key differences between different political powers. From an article online, an estimated 20.9 percent of all 18-19 year olds voted in the 2010 midterms. This is a significant drop from the 51 percent in the 2008 elections.
Some students state that they are just unsure of how to go about voting, others say that they don’t want to put in the time to register or wait in line on Election Day.
From a poll of 30 students only five of them were even registered in their area to vote.
There are obviously some key factors that seem to be deterring students from taking time to place their votes. Several students who stated that they don’t vote were asked why.
“I find that it just seems so inconvenient to become registered and figure out where to go,” said Jonathan, a freshmen at Bloomsburg University. “I would much rather just leave it to the people who seem to know much more.”
Inconvenience seems to be a large factor. Students are busy and they really don’t want to be bothered with a process that seems confusing to them. If they don’t have to, then why put time in to do it?
“Honestly, I just don’t know enough about the presidents, I don’t want to vote for the wrong one,” stated Cathleen, a sophomore student.
Not knowing the difference between presidents seems to stem from a large lack of interest in the area of politics. People understand things that they want to study, if students don’t see any fun in reading about politics, they simply won’t.
Many other students didn’t know when Election Day occurs or the name of the republican representative for presidency.
In attempts to reveal some political understanding on campus, I asked a junior named David Portelles of his stance on politics and voting.
“I think many individuals put all of their focus on social issues when they think of politics,” He stated. “In reality, it seems that issues related to the economy have a more severe impact on every single American.”
Not recognizing the importance of voting seems to be a large deterrent for students. If a student doesn’t see the impact he or she can make, then it’s unappealing.
If students are going to be effective voters, they would need to know and understand what their potential leaders stand for, and the impact they can truly make on the decision.
From personal experience I never thought to vote because it never seemed too pressing to me. This stemmed from my lack of interest in politics and the inconvenience voting seemed to place on me.
Though still uninterested in politics I choose to read up on the presidents and vote.
Students do not vote because it is inconvenient, they don’t know how, and they have a significant lack of interest in studying or learning about politics.
This is consistent and true in college students; if the numbers were to increase it would be through changing one or more of these issues.
Being able to get a voting ID on campus is a good venue to encouraging students to vote.
Occasionally I find a quick learning sheet on the two presidents, comparing their personal views on some of the big issues in our country.
Links to the site where one can register also helps students step up to vote.
Overall, students could never be forced to vote. Getting on someone’s case because they aren’t registered only seems to frustrate those individuals and pushes them away from the whole idea of voting.
College students need to become aware of their unique influence on their own terms; this is the most effective way to get a true opinion in a vote. However, there are many ways politicians can increase the interest on campus through making the learning process and voting process extremely convenient and user friendly on campus.