In-depth: Why students are not voting

by Alex Thenin

(photo: Jennifer Connors)

Thousands have died to get the American people the right to vote yet today almost half of the country doesn’t exercise that right.

Only 52 percent of registered voters voted in the past election election. It drops down into the 20th percentile when it comes to Senate and local government. Can we really blame political parties for there unpopular status when half the country doesn’t vote?

But young voters may have a reason for not voting, according to the Times the United States is becoming more and more partisans. While the people became more partisan so did the politicians. Hardcode liberals and conservatives used, to be 10 percent of the American electorate, but now they’re 24 percent. These two groups are more likely to vote than anyone else. Politicians like aiming for the hard-core partisans because they have higher voter turnouts.

A study suggests politicians are trying to pander to the largest number of people and since radicals vote more they are trying to appeal to them more.

When two politicians are running for president and one of them changes their mind, people of that party are more likely to change their mind with the presidential candidate for no other reason than they supported them before. When a politician changes ideals so does a portion of the party.

According to the BBC, these shifts alienate the young who still don’t quite know where they stand. This alienation would explain why only 15 out of 53 of the people I interviewed voted (I asked people in my non political classes to raise their hand if they voted and I interviewed a dozen or so who were just walking by).

The top three reasons why people didn’t vote in order from most popular to least was (not all 53 students were asked this question):

  1. It doesn’t matter if I vote or not
  2. I don’t feel represented by political parties
  3. I felt lazy that day.

The only reason people voted from those I talked to was:

  1. I didn’t like one candidate and felt obligated to vote

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