Students must vote Nov. 2 to have their voices heard in the midterm elections.
Only 8 percent of party chairs in 2008 identified young people as the most important demographic for the “long-term success of their party,” compared to 21 percent who named senior citizens most important, according to CivicYouth.org.
Voter turnout for any given demographic correlates largely with how well that group will be represented. In 2008, it was hard to turn a corner on Main Campus without hearing “Are you registered to vote on campus?”
But students aren’t as enthusiastic about state and local elections for multiple reasons, ranging from the voter’s registration processing problems to political awareness and discouragement from the political process.
According to Project Vote, a national nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that works on voter mobility, voters ages 18 to 29 make up 21 percent of the eligible voter population. But in the 2008 elections, young voters made up 17 percent of the voting population – which is a 2.2 million increase in voters under age 30 since 2004, according to CivicYouth.org. In the 2008 election, 5 percent of African-American youth voted, the highest turnout rate for any 18- to 24-year-old racial or ethnic group since 1972.
However, in the 2009 elections, WHYY reported Philadelphia had a 12 percent voter turnout, only one-fifth of the 2008 turnout. In “Hanging on to the youth vote” [Page 1], The Temple News reports on the impact and stakes of the youth vote in the 2010 elections.
Midterm and local elections are important for everyone, but in this election, there is a more specific stake for Temple students in particular. The amount Temple receives in commonwealth appropriations from the state will largely be determined by the next governor. The Temple News encourages all students, regardless of political affiliation, to get to the polls and vote on Nov. 2.