This morning’s Milwaukee Journal Sentinel had a quick feature on why young people don’t vote. They visited the local colleges…and apparently only found women willing to talk about not voting on the record…which is okay since woman vote in higher numbers than men anyway…and the men would probably have even lamer excuses. (there is a video attached to the link above that does include men…if you can get it to actually play) I am not going to use names here…

A: a 19-year-old nursing student at Alverno, said she’s too busy to vote in the midterms. A nursing student? One of the two most important issues being discussed in this election cycle is health care insurance…how much it costs…who should provide it…how health care should be paid for…or how it’s going to be provided. An issue that will directly affect this woman’s career for decades to come. She’s too busy to vote?

B: an elementary education major at Alverno who said she just hasn’t become engaged by the campaigns. What is the second biggest issue in this campaign? Public education in Wisconsin. We have the self-proclaimed education governor running for re-election against the state superintendent of public instruction. The discussion has continually revolved around Gov. Walker’s cuts to education, Mr. Evers support for expansion of public education and all day 4 year old kindergarten, and they have diametrically opposed views on vouchers for private school students. Again, topics that will impact this woman’s career for decades to come. She can’t become engaged?

C: didn’t vote in the last election and is leaning toward not voting in next week’s midterms.

supported Bernie Sanders. When he didn’t win the nomination, she felt like her vote didn’t matter.

She also said she wishes the public could directly elect their president, as opposed to using the Electoral College system.

“If the popular vote is what elected (presidents), then, of course, I would vote.” OMG…where do we even start? If you don’t like the way the system works…you have to get involved and change the system. Not voting doesn’t do that. I have said this here and other places…it is extremely difficult changing things from the outside. First thing you do is vote for the candidate that most closely aligns with your beliefs…then get in the action and develop candidates who are more to your liking. And the best place to start is on these midterm elections when candidates are far more approachable…sheesh.

D: ‘Oh well, our ancestors died for this right’ and that is 100 percent correct, and kudos to them,” she said. “But I don’t think they understood what they were fighting for. I don’t think they understood what they were dying for.” Oh well…I just can’t. Of course they died for our right not to vote too.

Between early voting, same day registration, absentee voting, and 13 hours of open polls…there isn’t much more than can be done to make it easier for everyone…not just young people.

P.S. the candidates that become elected officials tomorrow also get to decide the future of student loans…just sayin’

When I was the age of the young people in this article, the voting age was still 21. I couldn’t decide to vote or not to vote if I wanted to. And if they don’t vote their own interests, for at least the next two years if not longer, they will have to live with the decisions that boomers like me will make tomorrow…because we tend to vote in big numbers in comparison.

When you do vote, early or on election day, they give you the smug sticker saying “I voted”. Should we hand out a scarlet letter for those who don’t?

At some point well after the election, I’ll come up with some points that I think are worthy of consideration to improve voter registration, voter turn out, and voter accessibility.

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5 Responses to Young People Can’t Vote Because?

  1. We were told that younger voters wanted more progressive and interesting candidates. In many places this cycle that is the case. Beto is such a person. Rocky-star like rallies—but if the young voters do not emerge from there self-absorbed worlds to vote then we have an answer to what they are concerned about. Their complaining can be dismissed. The same age youth of the late 60’s and 70’s had a draft to worry about and the massive number of deaths of people living in Vietnam. They stepped up and got involved in ways that far exceeded just voting. But the ones who now need to have work places made with slides and game rooms can not find their way to the voting booths. And we are then to care what they think? No.

  2. Dan says:

    Meh. I don’t know… I find myself growing increasingly apathetic with each election. Every two years everyone gets themselves all worked up into a tizzy (I’ve heard how this is the MOST IMPORTANT ELECTION OF OUR LIVES! pretty much every election. Then one side wins and one side loses and life goes on pretty much as it always has for the vast majority of people.

    Sure, I’ll vote for Evers, but maybe the party that is supposedly all about the youth and minorities should consider going with someone other than another old white guy.

    • It looks like the voters of Wisconsin picked Mr. Evers…not the party. The Democrats started out with a large number of candidates and ended up with eight on the primary ballot in August. Both genders, an African American, and all ages. If we ended up with an old white guy it wasn’t the party electeds who picked him…it was the voters. So if you don’t like another old white guy, you’ll have to get more people to vote for someone else in four years.

      • Charles Kuehn says:

        I think it’s fair to say Mr. Evers’ education pedigree – probably contributing to a tamper-resistant turnout – got him elected. And the little weasel’s dismal record and disingenuous campaigning on that very issue lost the race for him. The voters are very concerned about our education system and know the real deal when they see it.

        The only surprising thing is the close margin. Imagine what the spread might have been without Karl Rove’s hand on the scale. And to anyone who thinks the Republicans didn’t try to steal this one too, I would point out the anomaly of a sudden surge in Walker’s column late in the tally, just like the last two times. Too little too late this time, however.

  3. WashCoRepub says:

    Talk about the lack of a mandate, with that razor-thin margin. The Republican Resistance to the Evers-Barnes-Kaul agenda starts TODAY!!

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