I am the less than 25%

Do I vote? Do I vote? Do vote?

youthvote

Honestly, its a question I ask myself as every November starts to roll around and elections and campaign talk begins to really buzz around me.

 

Do I vote? Should I vote? Who should I vote for? Why should I vote for them? Does it really matter if I vote? How will it affect me if/what I do vote for? How will it affect others?

This is the train my thoughts usually take after that question.

 

Politics have never been something I have had much interest in.  I know they are important, and have tried to force/ease/trick myself into caring more about them in my daily life  – taking some political science courses in school, trying to watch the news more, tried to regularly  stay up to date on campaigns, subscribed to the Skimm – but I just can never seem to make it stick.

140502-number-voters-editorial

This article cites that less 25% of young Americans 18-29 will not vote in the upcoming elections.  I am only somewhat ashamed to admit I will probably be one of them.  The past few months I’ve been way too focused on personal and academic decisions and issues, I just wouldn’t have any idea where to start on that ballot in a day’s time.

 

The only election I have voted in thus far was the 2012 Presidential election, and it was kind of a strange experience.  I take issue with the bipartisan nature of American government to begin with, but I did educate myself a bit on most issues important to me and thought I knew what candidates seemed to fit that.  But to be honest, when the day came, I felt pressured by the atmosphere and people around me to vote a certain way regardless of all that (even if it was the way I was thinking of voting anyway) and it just made me question the integrity of my personal vote.

 

What I am getting at is that I think a lot of young people feel a pressure to vote, but college and young adulthood is a time when you are unsure of a whole heck of a lot of things – and politics is definitely one of them.  I’m not saying its a great excuse for the apathy that many writers and critics like this one focus on, but I do think that voting is a personal matter and choice, and a person should comfortable in deciding themselves, if they vote, and who or what they vote for.  Feeling forced into voting on something you are unprepared to decide on, or worse, into voting a certain way, is a pressure I think a lot of young Americans, like I did on my first voting day, feel.

 

How do you all feel about the pressure to vote and/or vote a certain way on college campuses? How do we relieve the apathy of young voters without feeling like we are forced into something?  And if you stay up to date on campaign trails or politics, how do you do it?

 

~Katie Loughrey

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2 thoughts on “I am the less than 25%

  1. I believe all of us should vote because we can. It is one right that is given to us and to not use it is a waste. At the same time, voting blindly is just as useless. I am not surprised that so few young Americans are planning on voting, but I wish it wasn’t the case. We are the ones who can set the scale for the future. The youth bracket is always the most progressive-thinking and if we take ourselves out of the equation, then we let the same voters who elected the disastrous leaders of the past decades continue to shape our government. So follow the issues, see which candidates are worthy of your vote, and then cast it. It’s the only way anything can change for the better.

    Josh Gluck

  2. I would vote if I was more involved with politics. While I do care about issues facing society, I don’t really have enough time to dive into them and really research what to do about them. Students are some of the busiest people in the United States. When we aren’t doing homework or in class, research is the last thing we want to do when we are finally able to kick back. That is one of the reasons why I haven’t been super involved with politics lately, but I feel as I get older I’ll definitely consider it.

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