Why 18 to 25 year olds don't vote.

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I am an Uncle of three 18 to 25 year olds who told me about the complications of why they don't vote.

Over the past six years, many obstacles have impeded college students’ voices to be heard. Students have the right to register and vote in their college towns if they consider it their primary residence via a federal appeals court decision in Symm v. U.S. Yet, access to the voting booth has become complicated due to intentional and unintentional misinformation, like previously asserted claims that registering to vote at school may jeopardize your eligibility for financial aid.

With the high number of college student voters and the amount of false information, colleges and universities need to help facilitate voting. In addition, young people overall face increasing challenges to vote, including harsher voter registration rules, a lack of college campus voting booths, and new voter ID laws. This brief will examine existing voting laws, specific challenges facing young people, and recommendations for action.

Also a lot of these young people at colleges have to go to school full time and then after school more qthan 50% of these students have to work part time jobs, so when do they actually have time to go and vote during election day? One way to fix that is to give every student that day off as a national holiday. Another way to combat this is letting Voting stations to be allowed on college campusus. Most Colleges will not allow voting stations on campus....hmmmmm, why is that? it is because the republican party does not want that to happen. Upon posting this does that mean I hate the republican Party!?!... No, I don't hate them, I actually respect their opinions, do I agree with them!?!..no I don't.

Also in venting I want to point out what the word bigot actually means, most people think a bigot is only racist and that is not true. A bigot is someone who doesn't tolerate people of different races or religions or political beliefs and a prejudiced person who is intolerant of any opinions differing from his or her own.

mtnbiker1971's picture
mtnbiker1971
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Nov. 10, 2015 10:30 pm

Comments

1. Intellectual laziness.

2. Refusal to deal with anything unpleasant, like politics.

3. Naivete; don't understand the system and don't seek to learn.

4. Cultural ADD precursed by the digital age; if it can't be presented and grasped in 30-second soundbytes, it's "too hard" or "it takes too long."

5. Belief that the system is rigged and that voting will do no good.

6. Withdrawal from the system resulting from disillusionment of idealism and frustration of expectations.

7. The impatience of youth butting up against the slow pace of institutional change.

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Ulysses
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

I think the larger question is why American vote in such pathetic numbers compared to some other nations. Average turnout of the voting age public (VAP) in off year elections is a pathetic 35%... meaning those elected get the approval of what... 18-20% of the VAP. In presidential years the turnout is 50-55%. Some other nations have VAP turnout in the 80% range.

I think the reasons are clear. Our two party system is ideological braindead... it limits choice and many voters are tired of holding their nose and voting for the lesser of the evils instead of their conscience.

Few want to admit the obvious: our system permits minority rule... as evident by a candidate REJECTED by the People becoming president in 2000. In the Senate a mere 18% of the population gets 52% of the seats. And a mere 3.5% of the population can block any amendment yet a mere 40% can ratify one.

What's the point of voting in a system that's antidemocratic and virtually reformproof?

I suspect many can not verbalize why they don't care. I suspect there's just a vague dissatisfaction that if the best democracy can offer, and we're to believe it's the best in the world, is the above... why bother?

ulTRAX's picture
ulTRAX
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote Ulysses:

1. Intellectual laziness.

2. Refusal to deal with anything unpleasant, like politics.

3. Naivete; don't understand the system and don't seek to learn.

4. Cultural ADD precursed by the digital age; if it can't be presented and grasped in 30-second soundbytes, it's "too hard" or "it takes too long."

5. Belief that the system is rigged and that voting will do no good.

6. Withdrawal from the system resulting from disillusionment of idealism and frustration of expectations.

7. The impatience of youth butting up against the slow pace of institutional change.

You're placing all the responsibility on those who could vote and choose not to. You're giving our defective electoral and political systems a get out of jail free card.

ulTRAX's picture
ulTRAX
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

You don't get any real choice in America, due to the idiotic First-Past-The-Post electoral system. Corporate/Bankster stooge A or Corporate/Bankster stooge B. Third parties can't get off the ground with FPTP, and with the highly divided duolopoly in the US, a vote for a third party is just wasting your vote or effectively voting for your own worst enemy, as the Greens effectively vote for Repugs - every election.

IRV - Instant Run-Off Voting is the best solution. Britain, Canada & the US are all in the same boat with the FPTP voting system.

Australia does have compulsory voting but they have a preferential ballot so that everyone can make a meaningful choice.

Instant-RunOff-...
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Jun. 17, 2015 12:41 pm
Quote Instant-RunOff-Voting:Third parties can't get off the ground with FPTP, and with the highly divided duolopoly in the US, a vote for a third party is just wasting your vote or effectively voting for your own worst enemy, as the Greens effectively vote for Repugs - every election.
As discussed in another thread... your hope for IRV as some sort of electoral salvation for voter sicks of the two parties is a mirage. The two party system arises not just from FPTP but from elections where there is but one office to win. IRV merely insures that no one wins without 51% approval. So what if some of that approval is halfhearted. The winning party gets the power.

For example imagine a congressional election where 41% vote Dems, 10% Greens. The second choice for the Greens will be to hold their nose and pick the Dems and because their "runoff" votes will go to the party with the most votes... and they'll get nothing... creating its own dynamic that makes it somewhat pointless to vote Green.

Should there be an instant runoff... how do the Greens benefit when they never actually win any seats? They are still excluded from the halls of power, their ideas aren't part of the national debate, and the Dems win the seats.

Now the Dems MAY throw some bones to the Greens to keep them voting. But they do that now to "greens" who joined the party. It'd be no different than now when the Dems know unions and Black voters have no other place to go...

The only reliable way to break the two party stranglehold is proportional representation. Voters get the satisfaction of their first choice actually winning a seat... and once in power, they can bargain directly with the Dems instead of hoping to be tossed a few bones.

Getting PR to work in practice is more difficult given our dysfunctional our electoral and political systems are. If we look at the federal level the dual suffrage Congress isn't about to send out reform amendments undermining their party's or state's power. PR's best started on the state level.. in states with a popular referendum that can demand changes in state constitution.

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ulTRAX
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote ulTRAX:

IAverage turnout of the voting age public (VAP) in off year elections is a pathetic 35%... meaning those elected get the approval of what... 18-20% of the VAP. In presidential years the turnout is 50-55%. Some other nations have VAP turnout in the 80% range.

I see the reason for low turn-out in off year elections as a symptom of DC politics. Slowly for the past 50 years, the public has turned more and more to Washington DC to solve problems. Politicians at the local level have been marginalized more and more as local power and decision making has been ceded to the national politicians. Big mistake. Washington DC causes more problems than they solve. This was never meant to happen. If more local decisions were left up to local politicains, I believe we would have much more interest in local political process and therefore a greater turn-out.

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Kilosqrd
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Sep. 5, 2014 3:22 am
Quote ulTRAX:
Quote Ulysses:

1. Intellectual laziness.

2. Refusal to deal with anything unpleasant, like politics.

3. Naivete; don't understand the system and don't seek to learn.

4. Cultural ADD precursed by the digital age; if it can't be presented and grasped in 30-second soundbytes, it's "too hard" or "it takes too long."

5. Belief that the system is rigged and that voting will do no good.

6. Withdrawal from the system resulting from disillusionment of idealism and frustration of expectations.

7. The impatience of youth butting up against the slow pace of institutional change.

You're placing all the responsibility on those who could vote and choose not to. You're giving our defective electoral and political systems a get out of jail free card.

Do you think any significant number of voters know what the electoral college is?

They do not vote because they have no curiosity about the issues and so do not care about who is pushing what.

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gumball
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Dec. 12, 2013 11:02 am

That is why we have primaries.

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gumball
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Dec. 12, 2013 11:02 am

After promising 4 days ago to teach me how wrong I was about guns in this post http://www.thomhartmann.com/forum/2015/10/does-anyone-agree-gun-nuts-pla... ... kilo has fled that thread and has reappeared here...

Quote Kilosqrd:I see the reason for low turn-out in off year elections as a symptom of DC politics. Slowly for the past 50 years, the public has turned more and more to Washington DC to solve problems. Politicians at the local level have been marginalized more and more as local power and decision making has been ceded to the national politicians.
I don't agree that more governmental activism started in '65. Certainly the FDR era set the stage and even the 50's saw the fight for desegregation begin... and major public investments in the interstate highway system. Yes the early 60s saw major voting rights cases, and the war on Poverty. And the highest off year election participation was... '62 '66 and '70. http://www.idea.int/vt/countryview.cfm?id=231

So your explanation makes no sense. If true we we'd see higher voting rates because voters would know who we sent to Washington mattered. In reality there's been no year going back to 1946 where off year elections got more than 50% of the voting age population (VAP) to vote. http://www.idea.int/vt/countryview.cfm?id=231 Compare that to a nation like Norway http://www.idea.int/vt/countryview.cfm?id=165 or Sweden http://www.idea.int/vt/countryview.cfm?id=197 or Finland http://www.idea.int/vt/countryview.cfm?id=74 

There is something fundamentally wrong with the US system... and that SHOULD be obvious. Our very system often punishes voters for voting their conscience through the so-called spoiler effect. A two party system doesn't offer real choice, the system is not just undemocratic... but antidemocratic. Where else in the democratic world can someone REJECTED by the people become president? What other nation's constitution is so reformproof. In our defective, antiquated, system, apathy is a pretty understandable response.

Quote Kilosqrd: Big mistake. Washington DC causes more problems than they solve. This was never meant to happen. If more local decisions were left up to local politicians, I believe we would have much more interest in local political process and therefore a greater turn-out.

What utter bull. No qualifications... just "Washington is bad". There are some very valid reasons why some problems REQUIRE a national approach. The social safety net and educational spending could not be done strictly on a state by state basis since poor states would not be able to afford those programs. It took redistribution on a national scale. Pollution is another perfect example. States were limited in their ability to control pollution crossing their borders. Guns also cross state borders. Civil rights can't be done by states because we already saw how states in the south had Jim Crow and voter suppression laws. It makes no sense to NOT have national workplace safety standards. Such problems ALL require a national approach. ALL of these laws are in that 50 year timeframe you complain about. That's not to say all laws make sense. But ALL those laws were passed BY REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATES... elected by people IN THOSE STATES. So you can't blame these laws on some generic "Washington" problem. But I'm sure you will.

And you're ignoring there's a war on voting... such as banning ex-cons from voting. That alone denies the right to vote to about 6 million people http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/12/felon-voting-laws-disenfranchis... as well as other voter suppression laws aimed at minorities etc. I think it's safe to say such laws are generally supported more by the right.

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ulTRAX
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote gumball:They do not vote because they have no curiosity about the issues and so do not care about who is pushing what.

I know as a right winger you intend to blindly defend our system. As I wrote to Kilo

There is something fundamentally wrong with the US system... and that SHOULD be obvious. Our very system often punishes voters for voting their conscience through the so-called spoiler effect. A two party system doesn't offer real choice, the system is not just undemocratic... but antidemocratic. Where else in the democratic world can someone REJECTED by the people become president? What other nation's constitution is so reformproof. In our defective, antiquated, system, apathy is a pretty understandable response.

I think history as set up some experiments. All we have to do is see how our system differs from those with higher voter turnout... like Finland, Sweden, Norway etc.

You can start your research here http://www.idea.int/vt/countryview.cfm?id=197 for voting rates and then research the different types of electoral/political systems they have http://www.idea.int/db/countryview.cfm?id=197#Electoral%20System%20Design

But I know from your posts you're rather lazy and don't bother doing any research... because when push comes to shove you really don't care if your beliefs have any basis in reality.

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ulTRAX
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

I'm basing my comments on personal interactions. From my experience there is a significant number of people who don't care about politics. As much as folks like you and I see the importance here, most just live their lives and do not see the machinations of the political system directly affecting their lives.

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gumball
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Dec. 12, 2013 11:02 am
Quote gumball:

I'm basing my comments on personal interactions. From my experience there is a significant number of people who don't care about politics. As much as folks like you and I see the importance here, most just live their lives and do not see the machinations of the political system directly affecting their lives.

Just as I suspected. You want to have an opinion... you don't care if it's in ANY way based in reality. And who the hell knows who you talk to. You do know what anecdotal means, right? But even looking at the "research" done into this topic it's not very revealing. Here's a perfect example that tells us nothing.

http://usgovinfo.about.com/od/thepoliticalsystem/a/whynotvote.htm

Here's my take and I don't know of any research that's explored it. We're brought up with this idealistic idea of voting, self government and ain't America oh soooo special because of it. But in reality our system fails miserably at what it promised.

DIRECT QUESTIONS>>>>

WHERE ELSE IN THE WORLD ARE ELECTIONS OVER TURNED AND CANDIDATES REJECTED BY THE PEOPLE ARE IMPOSED ON THE NATION AS PRESIDENT?

WHERE ELSE IN THE DEMOCRATIC WORLD ARE REPRESENTATIVES OF 18% OF THE PUBLIC GIVEN A VETO OVER THE REPRESENTATIVES OF 100% OF THE POPULATION?

And that is just two of the core problems our antidemocratic system creates.

Given the absurdity of our system it's not difficult to understand why politics soon becomes irrelevant if not distasteful to many leaving off year elections to political partisans and those dutifully civic minded. But do we really want a House that gets the approval to govern of only 18% of voting age population in off year elections (VAP) or a president elected by 26-28% of the VAP? News reporting only covers the vote... not those who refuse to vote. So they'd never say Newt's "Republican Revolution" was approved by about 18-19% of the VAP. We SHOULD be asking at what point the becomes system morally illegitimate. But we never do.

Given how dysfunctional our electoral and political systems are, apathy is not that unreasonable a response. So given that we have no alternatives, no debates about the defects of our system, no hope of reform even if there was a debate... why should the anyone care about politics... except political partisans, the dutifully civic minded... and those who perk up when there's a presidential election?

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ulTRAX
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Do you believe that any significant number of nonvoters know this?

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gumball
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Dec. 12, 2013 11:02 am
Quote gumball:

Do you believe that any significant number of nonvoters know this?

There you go AGAIN... evading direct questions and trying to hijack the discussion with another of your hit & run posts that took 5 seconds to write.

Sorry Gummie... not playing your eternal game.

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ulTRAX
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