The Missing Youth Vote - Primary 2020

By | Wednesday, March 11, 2020 Leave a Comment
Photo by Julián Gentilezza on Unsplash

A friend on Facebook posted a link to this article from BBC News, Super Tuesday: Why didn't more young people vote? He commented “It’s pretty much just wall-to-wall excellent points here. One of those times where you need an outside perspective.”

Sorry, I’m afraid I disagree. I (an old white guy) have no sympathy for any of these points. This article may correctly point out why youth aren’t voting, but I am still not sympathetic with youth voters who don’t vote. If young people can find the location of the hidden rave, they can find out where their polling place is. Or their friend can, or their aunt or uncle can, or their school secretary can. If I offered most "kids" $100 to find their polling place, they'd f'ing well find it! I registered to vote when I was 18 and have voted in every single election since. One of those times I had moved and had trouble figuring out which was my polling place, but I FIGURED IT OUT. Geesh.

Moreover, for youth voters, or any voters who can’t take time from their schedules to get to the polls, vote absentee (yes, I know, this still doesn’t solve the problem for low-income voters who don’t have fixed addresses, etc., but still, it enables a hell of a lot of voters who use this excuse to not vote.) As for "Lina Tate, 20, registered for an absentee ballot in mid-February - but did not receive her ballot until 6 March", you know what, Lina? This election process has been going on for months (feels like forever.) If you really cared, maybe you would have applied for an absentee ballot before mid-February? Is it the states' fault, or some nefarious plot, that your ballot didn’t reach you in time? "Benjamin Clardy, 21, is currently studying in Italy" and had absentee voting problems. OK. That sucks. But forgive me if I don’t believe that students studying overseas have a measurable impact on lack of youth voter turnout (and are doubtless offset by any number of older voters, living, working, or traveling abroad.)

"Quite a lot of young people feel disillusioned" - yup. And you know what, you should get out and vote to change the system. No sympathy from me whatsoever. Oh no, my car broke down. Guess I'll just walk for the rest of my life. Greta Thunberg sailed a boat across the Atlantic to raise awareness of the threat of Climate change. Youth in countries around the world are literally dying while fighting their governments. You can f'ing pull it together and vote, you little shits.

"A lot of high school students get less information about politics". Yeah, it’s a pity that high school students aren’t allowed to watch TV or use the internet. Oh, candidates don’t come to your high school, they only go to colleges. What a shame that high school students aren’t allowed to set foot on the grounds of a local college campus to attend such an event. None of the candidates came to my house to curry my vote, so screw it, I ain't voting. (Not)  And here's a suggestion, while you're sitting there getting that tattoo, maybe you can study the voter's pamphlet sent to you by your city/county/state. You were able to decide what image you want inked on your body for the rest of your life, you can figure out who would best represent you in the government for the next few years.

"Bernie Sanders failed to mobilize them - but experts say the other political campaigns played a part too." Boo hoo. The candidates that excited me most dropped out at various points along the way (up till the very end.) Yet somehow, I managed to vote anyway. The ice cream parlor ran out of Rocky Road, bummer, guess you'll have to have Mocha chocolate chip instead.

"Finally - things could still be very different in November" they f'ing well better be! I'm probably not going to live long enough to be too terribly put out by the shit that is coming down. You kids will either fix things or live with the results.

And you know what? If you care so little about voting, then I'd really rather you didn't vote. Leave it to those of us that care about the outcome. Or, at the very least, when a pollster asks you who you are voting for, tell them you're not planning on voting.

OK. Done ranting. Unfortunately, I don’t feel any better.
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