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Registered v. Non Registered Voters amongst College Students

October 31, 2012

The University of San Francisco

The University of San Francisco, like many colleges in the United States, educates students from around the world. Like the city of San Francisco itself, USF is a very diverse school. With the 2012 presidential elections around the corner, voters are registering to vote and mailing in their absentee ballots.

            In efforts to promote active voting, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a measure into law allowing Californians to be able to register to vote until Election Day (Election Day Registration or Same Day Registration). Although the law will not be in action for another several years, Gov. Brown promotes simple and convenient voting. “While other states try to restrict voters with new laws that burden the process, California allows voters to register online.” Gov. Brown said (Los Angeles Times).

With students traveling far from home to attend school, the process of voting becomes a little more complicated. However, the State government is making a strong effort to raise the percentage of registered voters among those eligible. Andrew Wheeler, a sophomore at the School of Visual Arts in New York City is in the process sending in his absentee ballot.

 

Various Countries Represented At USF

 

“A lot of students are active [voters],” said Wheeler. “Most of my friends are registered voters and are voting in a presidential election for the fist time. ” Wheeler who grew up in Southern California left his home by the beach to attend college on the East Coast.

“I vote to stand up for my beliefs and make sure that I have a say in the way our country is run.” Wheeler said. Although Wheeler is one of many young adults who is active in this year’s election, a specific amount of young adults find themselves indifferent on the subject.

According to the Circle Analysis of the Census Current Population Survey, in the 2008 election, 84% of those from the ages 18-29 who were registered to vote actually cast a ballot. Compared to older age groups, youth voter registration rates are much lower.

 

(Circle Analysis)

            Kevin Tang and his friend Joel Avila, both originally from San Jose, live in the city and are attending different colleges. While they both sat at their computers busy at work, the two agreed that voting and politics were not a top priority in their lives.

“Elections in California are pretty pointless,” said Tang.  “No matter what California is gong democratic.”While Avila excused not voting for laziness, he commented on social medias role in the 2012 presidential campaign. “During the last debate, there were over six million tweets about the nominees,” said Avila. “I guarantee you a majority of those people tweeting about the elections will not go out register or vote.”

Although the law will not go into action until around the year 2016, EDR has proven an increased voter turn out for young adults whose home stated offered it. In the 2008 elections, states with EDR had an increase in nine percentage points compared to those who did not have EDR.

 

(Circle Analysis)

            Devin Kelley, a junior at the University of San Francisco came to the city from New Mexico. Alike Wheeler, Kelley filled out an absentee ballot.

“Many kids from out of state attend school is California, but that shouldn’t stop them from voting,” Kelley said. “Voting doesn’t necessarily mean you will see the outcome you want. That is probably why a lot of students do not take the time to register or go out and vote. But there are always those who do, and I am happy to be one of them.”

 

Devin Kelley with his Absentee Ballot

            Kelley takes pride and optimism in being an active voter. Although he acknowledges the various reasons why one wouldn’t, Kelley alike many others feel the necessity in exercising their right to vote.

Circle Analysis argues that those who discuss the current election are more likely to vote. Many people across the globe know little to nothing about exercising the right to vote. As citizens of the United States it is our duty to exercise this freedom and own a voice in politics today

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