Do you know how many of our students voted in the last election? 11%. Altogether. For all candidates combined.

What does this tell us about either party’s capacity to speak to the young people?

18 thoughts on “Disengaged”

  1. I’m not sure how that compares to historical voting rates among 18-24 year olds.

    How difficult is it for students to register to vote for the first time or get an absentee ballot in your state? I wouldn’t have known the first thing about doing it on my own, and if Ohio then had followed the same rules as Florida does now — forget it.


    1. The voting rates in this age group are low but not as low as those among our students.

      Why would they need an absentee ballot? Isn’t it for students who study in a different state from where they originally come from?


        1. Sweet Jesus on the Cross, folks. You got to be kidding me with this. What impediments when 5 days before the last presidential election my students had no idea there was an election coming up. They literally had no idea anything important was going on politically. And in terms of governor races, it’s even worse.


      1. You need an absentee ballot if you’re not going to be in your precinct on election day. So, for example if you lived in Chicago but went to school in Springfield, if you’re in Springfield on Election Day you’d need an absentee/mail ballot if you wanted to vote in the precinct in where you lived in Chicago or be registered to vote in Springfield.

        All of this favors people who’ve voted before. How many people are first time voters among your students if they vote? To vote by mail you already have to be registered early, and know the deadlines for sending in your mail ballot.

        When I first voted, I registered to vote at my college and my precinct was in my college town. I voted in person at the precinct and had to show my voter registration card which they checked against the rolls. It was easy.


        1. I did not have to show a driver’s license. To vote in person in Florida today, you have to show a valid photo id with an address. For most people this is their driver’s license. They don’t bother with voter registration card, they just swipe your driver’s license.

          Since Florida is a REAL ID state, you’ve got to have your social security card, proof of citizenship and two pieces of specific mail, go to the DMV, and have them scan all of that into the DMV database. All of the names have to match.

          As a college student, I didn’t own a car and my identity documents were sitting at home at my parents’ house. There was no DMV in town within walkable distance (and before you say, “take the bus” um, there was no bus service to speak of.) A student ID would not have been accepted.


        2. “All of this favors people who’ve voted before. How many people are first time voters among your students if they vote? To vote by mail you already have to be registered early, and know the deadlines for sending in your mail ballot.”

          -This is an important point, too. I received emails from my school campus reminding me of all the deadlines. But this tends to be an exception, not the rule.


      2. “Why would they need an absentee ballot? Isn’t it for students who study in a different state from where they originally come from?”

        -Not necessarily, though that is common as well. A few states require that you maintain a permanent residence in your county or town, since that’s ostensibly where you’re going to be voting. Those counties and towns are, where I am, responsible for letting you know which polling location you go to — usually there’s a bit of a selection, depending on how big the town is. If you for whatever reason will be out of town on election day, or unable to get to your polling location, you can request an absentee ballot.

        So even if you go to school in the same state, you might still need an absentee ballot. I went to school an hour away from home and in a different county. I wasn’t able to get home on a Tuesday, so I needed an absentee ballot. I didn’t absolutely need to do this for the presidential election — my school provided poll booths for that. But that was just the presidential election, and nothing else. They don’t do that normally.

        I’m pretty sure they do this because individual towns will lump in their elections, as well as county elections, in with any federal or state elections.


  2. Politics is bullshit.
    Just a bunch of mantras, stereotypes, dogma, exploitation of current hysteria.
    Society is bullshit altogether.
    Just create major issues for no good reason, then invent “causations” for said issues: “Blame it on the homeless”, “blame it on the immigrants”, “blame it on misogyny”, “blame it on the poor”, “blame it on the ‘sex offenders'”, “blame it on the rock n’roll”, or what-have-you ….


  3. I don’t have percentages handy, but our voting percentage went up significantly when they created a precinct on campus, and had voter registration helpers who knew how to fill in campus addresses in ways that the registrar accepted. (Their mailing addresses don’t count, and they don’t know the never-used official street addresses of the college buildings.)


    1. That’s another thing: my mailing address at the college was a P.O. Box.

      Oct. 11 (UPI) — The U.S. Supreme Court this week declined to intervene in a challenge to North Dakota’s voter ID law, allowing it to remain in effect for next month’s key midterm elections.

      The state’s law says voters must show a valid government-issued identification with their current residential address to cast a ballot. The law was challenged by Native Americans on the basis that many homes on reservations lack standard residential street addresses.

      In April, a federal judge blocked North Dakota from enforcing that portion of the law for the primary votes, but the 8th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ultimately removed the lower court’s order in September.

      Attorneys for the Native American plaintiffs filed an emergency appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, asking it to stay the 8th Circuit court’s decision. The high court, though, declined.

      “North Dakota Native American voters will now have to vote under a system that unfairly burdens them more than other voters,” Native American Rights Fund attorney Jacqueline De León said in a statement Thursday. “Access to voting should not be dependent on whether one lives in a city or on a reservation.”

      The North Dakota law allows voters to show a valid driver’s license or state-issued ID. Native Americans can also present a tribal government-issued ID that includes their name, date of birth and residential address. If the ID card does not include an address, prospective voters can also show recent mail received at that person’s address.

      In a dissenting opinion, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg argued that the appeals court decision to enforce the law may cause confusion for some who voted in the April primaries without the restrictions and are unaware of the change.

      “The injunction against requiring residential address identification was in force during the primary election and because the [North Dakota] secretary of state’s website announced for months the ID requirements as they existed under that injunction,” Ginsburg wrote. “Reasonable voters may well assume that the IDs allowing them to vote in the primary election would remain valid in the general election.”


    2. We have all this. I had voter registration forms in the classroom. I brought in people and dedicated class time to help fill them out. But it’s useless if students have no idea there is an election.


      1. Knowing there’s an election is different than caring there’s an election and when it is and where to vote. Midterms, yes, I can see nobody really pays attention to. But a presidential election is something else.

        Why don’t your students care? Because their media saturation must be much higher than mine was.


          1. I heart Instagram.

            But seriously, back in the day I did not have a tv, I didn’t make a habit of watching news (or anything else), I only used the internet for downloading mp3s (so insanely slow) and collating news articles about Falun Gong for class (google news and various aggregrators didn’t exist.) I didn’t read the local paper, and maybe scanned the campus daily during lunch. I didn’t even break out my radio.


            1. I agree completely that those who want to know find a way and those who don’t find an excuse. I know what one needs to say and be like to attract our young people (in this region.) But the politicians don’t.

              I have changed my opinion about JB (candidate for governor) but he isn’t even trying to appeal to young people.

              Back when Bernie came to campus, it was a flop because he is great at reaching out to kids at fancy schools like Princeton and Berkeley but he doesn’t have a clue what kids like our students respond to.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.