Statistics support the oft-cited claim that young people are comparatively apathetic about voting.
In 2008, a year that featured a presidential candidate who supposedly resonated with young people like few others, less than half of the eligible voters ages 18 to 24 bothered to cast ballots, according to the United States Census Bureau. And yet this was viewed as a great success, because it still marked a 2 percentage point increase from the 2004 election and a whopping 9 percentage point jump from 2000.
These numbers may seem depressing, even dismal. But the truth is that they are worse than that. They are disgraceful.
The Temple News believes all voters, regardless of party affiliation or political ideology, should view voting as a responsibility entrusted to them and act accordingly. This especially holds true for young voters.
With that firmly held belief in mind, The Temple News would also like to mention its pleasant surprise when the results from a campus-wide poll showed a mere 13 percent rate of refusal to vote. It is too late, quite tragically, to persuade this 13 percent to reconsider their decision. And so attention must be turned to the 10 percent who reported that they were undecided as to whether they would be voting on Nov. 6.
The Temple News would like to encourage that 10 percent to reclassify themselves as definite voters. Whatever investment of time and energy required to vote is well worth it.
On the municipal, state and national stages, the issues have been very real. The repercussions are, to be frank, massive. The Temple News urges all eligible and registered voters to use the remaining times before the election to ensure that they are well-informed on the stances of the candidates and cast a ballot that best represents their own personal beliefs.
This encouragement stands regardless of which candidate these voters ultimately decide to support. The Temple News does not believe its place is to endorse a particular candidate. But it does believe in endorsing democracy, which only functions if the citizenry is engaged, critical and active.