Young Voters And Why A Higher Percentage Of Apathy

2112 words - 8 pages

The lacked of youth voters has been a major concern for the democratic system in the United States and other countries. Studies has been and still trying to understand why youth tends to slack off when it comes to this crucial part of democratic practices. In light of this continuing problem, solutions have been offered to involve youths, primarily in their early 20s, to participate in this democratic practice. Because this is a high concern of many countries, many authors have written about why it is a tendency among youth and some have offered solutions to end this apathy-madness.
Voting right was not freely granted in the beginning of time; many fought hard and died for this core belief. Youth voting right was established in 1972 with its highest turnout, yet “the percentage of 18- to 24-year-olds that vote has declined with each succeeding election since 1972.” (Wells & Dudash p.1280.) Even with the right to vote, it alone is not sufficient to fully make a country a democracy; the people themselves need to exercise that right. Unfortunately, many youths today take this right for granted and ultimately abandoned this crucial process to which it is the fundamental necessity of democracy. Thus, democracy is at risk until these youths found the calling from within and started participating in this democratic system of voting.
So what is it that differs between young registered voters to vote or not, certainly there are youth out there who cares and go out of their way to vote. Many high school students are excited when they are near the age of voting, yet many failed to actually do so. The first partial finding would be that young voters feel left out of the politics they are voting for. Priscilla Lewis Southwell argues in her article, “The Politics of Alienation: Nonvoting and Support for Third-party Candidates Among 18–30-year-olds,” which stated that “those young persons who feel inefficacious or cynical about national politics have even less reason to show up at the polls.” (Southwell p. 105.) What Southwell presented in her argument here is that elections result in actions from government in accordance with the vote of the people. There is a contrary view, however, as Megan Grant wrote in her news report, “Voter apathy still plagues young Americans,” states that:
Young people do have political influence regardless of their ability to go to the polls on election day. Politicians are increasingly aware of young people’s opinions on controversial topics because they know that in the future they will become a valuable asset when it comes to swaying the vote.
According to Talon News, based in Washington, D.C., candidates for the upcoming presidency, George W. Bush and John Kerry, are focusing on drawing in young voters to help their causes.
Those policies, however, rarely affect the daily lives of these young voters. Young people are capable of knowing the simplest things, whether policies will affect them or not. ...

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