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Content Any Way U Want It!

BG Falcon Media

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September 21, 2023

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Lack of voter turnout explained, shows participation importance not understood

With Tuesday’s midterm election behind us, the majority of the Democratic candidates were left to lick their wounds while the GOP celebrated a complete appropriation of the U.S Senate.

Many of the races were highly contested, yet nearly 63% of American citizens did not exercise their right to vote, according to data provided by the United States Election Project. Even more dreadful is the fact that only 13% of voters were under the age of 30.

Granted, some of the most densely populated states — such as California, Texas and New York — did not have competitive, statewide elections and voter turnout can vary widely by state because of varying voting regulations.

However, according to data released after the 2008 presidential election, the hindrance was not due to unsavory regulations. Americans — particularly young adults — have proven to be apathetic.

In 2008, 51.6% of people did not even register to vote due to disinterest and of the total number of registered voters, 17.6% were “too busy” to actually cast a ballot.

Some registered voters gripe that the process “takes too long,” but in a day and age where individuals are willing to wait 30 minutes for a table at a restaurant during the dinner rush or wait in line for hours on end to purchase the latest video game or smart phone, refusing to wait in line to cast your vote is egregious.

In fact, according to a survey conducted by the Government Accountability Office, 78% of local jurisdictions nationwide had no polling place with wait times that an election official deemed to be “too long.”

Voter apathy, another equally bogus justification, may account for the stark contrast between voters’ age.

As 13% of voters were under the age of 30, it is no stretch of the imagination to assume that young adults are disillusioned by politics and the inundation of hissing political advertisements on TV and the radio.

Rather than taking the opportunity to research political platforms and to form educated opinions, young adults appear to be tuning out the vast majority of coaxing candidates, but I don’t think this is due to laziness.

Statistically, older voters are more likely to own property and have young children, giving direct incentive to pay special attention to the ways hospitals and schools are run and whether or not playgrounds and libraries are maintained. Therefore, a vast majority of electoral issues may not even be of interest to young adults, which is a sad point in lieu of the fact that Ukrainian citizens literally risked their lives to vote in their country’s 2014 election.

But perhaps the most depressing explanation for the shockingly low voter turnout for individuals 30 and younger is that they may not feel that there is anything worth voting for.

The fact of the matter is that, although Tuesday’s election was not between presidential candidates, it did determine new members of the House and Senate.

Now that both houses of legislature are controlled by members of the GOP, the ensuing political climate is bound to change for the next two years while President Obama finishes his term.

Although the midterm elections are behind us now, the following will always be true: no matter the election, voting is a civic duty that gives American citizens their rightful voices — and your voice matters.

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