With the presidential election looming, voter turnout this year for the 18-24 age group is projected to decrease sharply from the 2008 election.
“Voter turnout (among the18-24 age group) is lower than other age groups,” Ferris political science professor Dr. Richard Griffin said. “It’s that way across the nation.”
To implore whether students are engaged in the election process and/or the election in its entirety, 50 random Ferris students were polled over the course of last week. The questions pertained to students’ desire to vote, and if they chose not to, why not?
After tallying up the data, approximately 60 percent of the responses indicated they were not planning to vote. The most common reason why not to vote was a lack of interest in the candidates. Disagreements about the usage of the Electoral College voting system came in at a close second.
The numerical information gathered is a change from the national norm in 2008 as it relates to our age bracket. In the previous presidential election, 49 percent of the 18-24 age group voted, according to the United States Census Bureau.
If you have ever taken a politics class or hear commentary about the election on television, an election fixture is the candidate’s ability to relate to the “average Joe”. But in reality, is there any candidate who truly personifies that?
“When are we going to start to elect some housewives or carpenters for president?” Griffin asked.
The reality of the situation is you can’t seriously run for a major office without accumulating a significant amount of wealth. Advertisement is a necessity in today’s world with the ever-growing number of social media outlets to reach out to prospective constituents, and ad time costs money,lots of it.
As the debate schedule rolls along, job creation and alleviating student loans continue to be key issues for students going forward.
This is evident from the first question asked to the candidates during the second presidential debate by Jeremy Epstein, a college student who is worried about if his investment in education will bear fruit in the foreseeable future.
Yet, many students tune out as smear ads overload our media sources, and the bickering of candidates often sounds more juvenile than presidential.
There is more than just the presidency at stake on the 2012 election docket. Senator, state representative and local government positions are all up for grabs in November,as well as proposals aimed to potentially change collective bargaining agreements, amend the state constitution and taxation policies.
According to Griffin, state offices can have a greater impact on citizens’ daily lives than ones at the executive level.
Griffin is a part of the Political Engagement Project, which focuses on ways to involve students in politics. A full calendar of events is posted on the university website for those who want to get involved.