Why Do Young People Not Vote?

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Paul Scorzafava, Centurion Staff

In the United States people ages, 39 and younger make up more than a third of eligible voters. However, during the midterm elections, only 32 percent of eligible voters ages 18-29 actually voted, and 45 percent of voters ages 30-44 voted.

Holding such a high percentage of the vote many experts believe that if a higher number of younger voters turned out they could change the course of the election.

Many experts believe the low voter turnout in young people is a major reason why Bernie Sanders dropped out of the Democratic Primary.

Sanders appealed to the younger voters as he promoted running a grassroots campaign. He advocated for policies most young people support like Medicare for all, legalization of marijuana, and free college.

According to pbs.com, those younger voters represented a smaller share of voters who went to the polls in Michigan at just 37 percent. And although 57 percent of this 18-44 age group favored Sanders, Joe Biden’s support among voters aged 45 and older was wider, 63 percent of these older voters favored the former vice president, while just 24 percent supported Sanders.

The New York Times reported similar findings of the Democratic Primaries. Results from the Texas primary, where Biden prevailed over Sanders, only 15 percent of voters were younger than 30, and nearly two-thirds were 45 or older, according to exit polls.

There was no state where people younger than 30 account for more than 20 percent of the electorate, based on exit polls, and in most states, they accounted for 15 percent or less.

Because so few young people voted, it did not matter that Sanders won them by huge margins, because Biden won the much more plentiful older voters.

The big question is why? Why don’t they vote? Is it that they simply aren’t interested in politics? Is it that they think that their vote doesn’t matter? Are they not informed on the issues?

Dale Candy 24, of Langhorne, said, “I feel like politics divides people and that whenever politics are brought up it just starts arguments and fights.”. When asked why he chooses not to vote. He then proceeded to say, “I feel that its just as much my right not to vote then to vote.”, he then said he does “feel some judgment” from other people his age who do vote.

A lot of people feel this way like Justin Scorzafava 21, of Levittown.

Scorzafava said, “I just don’t care or know enough about the candidates to go out and vote. I feel that it really doesn’t matter, and even if it did whoever wins, my life really isn’t going to change either way.”.

More and more young people feel this way and according to a study done by John Della Volpe, the director of polling at Harvard Kennedy School. He told bbc.com that many young people feel “disillusioned” by the voting process.

Della Volpe went on to say, “In general, however, many young people can feel disengaged from politics.”. A Harvard survey found that only 1 percent of those aged 18 to 29 agreed with the statement that “elected officials who are part of the Baby Boomer generation care about people like me.”

Sierra Tressler 24, of Levittown, feels the opposite, “I feel obligated to vote because some countries don’t have the right to vote. Especially as a woman, I want to vote because women haven’t always had the right to vote. A lot of people our age complain about the government and how things are run but they don’t vote.”.

John Muniz 24, of Levittown, had a similar opinion.

“Voting should be something everyone wants to do. Our generation should be embarrassed by the turnout of the last couple elections,” said Muniz.

“I just don’t get why more people my age don’t vote,” Muniz added. “If younger people only realized that if they did vote that we would have the numbers and could change the whole political scene of the country.”

With the global pandemic still looming throughout the country, many experts are worried that it might impact the next election.

According to cnn.com election professionals and voting, experts are anxiously looking ahead to November and warning that the coronavirus pandemic is already threatening the safety and integrity of the next presidential election.

These experts are raising the alarm that the virus poses unprecedented challenges to the 2020 election, and that time is running out to prevent a disaster at the polls.

Although the option is there for citizens to vote using an absentee ballot, with the majority of younger people not voting as it is, you have to believe