Young Voters: College Students, Young America and Political Apathy

Apathy. Hanging Chads, and the government doesn’t care about me. 1972 was the first time those 18 and over could vote. That year, 50% of 18- to 24-year-olds cast ballots, according to American- Demographics magazine. That number is astounding, considering in 2000, only 32% cast their vote. Ignoring each other. Just like an older sibling to a younger sibling in high school. It seems as though the current presidential candidates are ignoring the young voters. This is causing a rift in any progress to curb political apathyYou can take all the Anderson Cooper’s of CNN, all the Rock the Vote activities, but until some candidates show that they will listen to young voters, nothing will change.

A youth-run nonpartisan research group called The Third Millenium, says candidates in recent presidential primaries looked past voters ages 18-29 and drew fewer than one in 10 to the polls in most states. With state and local elections happening Tuesday, it’s easy to see who will be flocking to the polls. It’s not going to be college age students. You might see Grandma Moses there though. She was trying to get something done about her social security and high cost of prescriptions.

Candidates are just going to focus on middle-aged and the older crowd until we show some imitative. That means getting up 10 minutes earlier, showering a little bit more quickly, and going to your polling place. I know that’s what I will be doing on Tuesday morning. If the government wants more people to come out to the polls, there are a couple ideas they could entertain. These are the issues that really affect young people.

It’s time to make college affordable. Tuitions have soared, scholarships have given way to loans and federal Pell Grants have been frozen. Connecticut State University tuition might be hiked 20%. It was just hiked at the end of last semester.
Bush likes the phrase “leave no child behind” but you know what, the prospects of young people going to college are being left behind.

We need to make programs like UPROMISE a federally funded and endorsed program. This program allows parents to take a portion of what they spend in stores across America and put it towards a college fund. This should be provided to all Americans at birth and grow along with the child.

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