How to Mobilize Voters Under 30

Discussion in 'Politics' started by kirk2spock, Nov 14, 2010.

  1. kirk2spock
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    kirk2spock Rookie

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    Voters under the age of 30 have notoriously been one of the hardest groups of people to get to exercise their right to vote. In the recent 2010 mid-term elections an estimated 18% of eligible voters under the age of 30 voted, a very low turnout number but one that is considered normal by many politicians and government organizations. In addition 1 million fewer voters under 30 turned up when compared to the 2006 elections.

    As a young adult under 30 myself who voted in the recent elections I find this a very disappointing turnout. It seems to me that voters under 30 are a largely untapped reservoir of political potential for any candidate or party that is willing to devise a strategy to encourage young adults to vote and care about the nature and direction of their government. The generational and cultural gap between young adults and the majority of individuals running for office today needs to be bridged so that voters under 30 feel engaged in their government and the decisions it makes. While I understand the traditional reasons that this demographic group has not been exploited - namely the seeming unreliability of young voters to turn up at elections, their lack of knowledge of current political conditions in the nation, and their lack of motivation to vote – I do not believe that they are insurmountable issues as many politicians and political organizations have labeled them.

    To that end, I am curious to know what you think may be ways to mobilize this treasure trove of political power in the future? How can the gulf be bridged and young adults become interested and involved in their government?
     
  2. Baruch Menachem
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    Baruch Menachem '

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    Why mobilize the apathetic? Why should the opinion of someone who doesn't give a rip matter?

    What kind of choice would the clueless make?
     
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  3. Foxfyre
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    Foxfyre Eternal optimist Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    Frankly I would favor changing the law so that only those who could demonstrate some degree of competency re who was running for office and why they say they are running before we allow anybody to vote. Yeah yeah, I know there are all kinds of constitutional problems with that, but do you really believe the Founders envisioned an America where huge numbers of people would be intentionally misinformed, bribed, coerced, and then instructed on who to vote for? Or did they envision an America where education was so deficient that more than half the people have no clue re the consequences of their vote?

    So yeah, if the kids haven't educated themselves and don't know anything about the consequences of their votes, I would just as soon they not vote.
     
  4. Mad Scientist
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    Mad Scientist Deplorable Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    Free bong hits?
     
  5. Meister
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  6. Flopper
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    Younger voters, under 30, are typically nonpolitical, lean to left and tend to vote Democrat. The turnout in the 2008 presidential was estimated at 23 million, which has been increasing since 1996. Young voter turnout in the midterms is traditional poor although it has been rising.

    I don't think young voters are particularly inspired by the political Left or Right. The Left promises a lot of what young people want but they rarely deliver. It’s very unlikely the Right could ever appeal to most young voters. The average age of Americans is 36. Over 60% of tea party members are over 50. The average age of Fox News viewers is 62. Also the issues that the Right most often opposes such as gay marriage, pro life, global climate change, evolution, and healthcare reform are issues that poll high with young people.

    To answer your question, I think the only way you are going to get young voters to turnout is to successfully address issues that they are most concerned which are jobs and education while convincing them that the candidate is truly different from the opposition.
     
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  7. Sallow
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    Sallow The Big Bad Wolf. Supporting Member

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    -Include civics classes in elementary and high school.
    -Make voting mandatory (appalling, I know..but Jury duty is mandatory as well).
    -Include a one month internship program for seniors in high school to work either for a government agency or charity.
     
  8. Flopper
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    Flopper Gold Member

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    Keep in mind that in days of the founders, only white male property owners could vote. Not surprisingly, the candidates were white male property owners, who were for the most part were wealthy influential members of the community. The founders intended that only the elite would be voters and would be horrified that we allow most people to vote. Their interpretation of democracy and ours are quite different.
     
  9. McDowell's
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    Why is a group of demonstrably myopic people not voting considered a problem?

    Forcing them to vote would be counterproductive and create more serious problems in order to solve what is arguably not a problem at all.

    Seems to me an individual's general apathy about life goes hand in hand with a general apathy about voting. Rightfully so and for the betterment of us all.
     
  10. kirk2spock
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    kirk2spock Rookie

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    I tend to agree that this is a better solution to the problem rather than just allowing apathetic "kids" to sit on the sidelines and wait for society to pass them by. It is true that the problem is that voters under 30 are apathetic, uneducated toward politics, and indifferent about the course of government. So then the question becomes fixing this problem. Remember that they will be running the government and the nation at some point in the future. The sooner that they are able to think for themselves and formulate educated opinions about government and society the better for all Americans.

    Requiring students to learn about government and political issues at a young age (elementary school) and then requiring them to be involved in government in some way in high school should remedy this problem, at least to a certain extent. In a system like this you find educated students entering the world and coming of voting age with their own opinions about how they want government to run, allowing them to contribute to political society much earlier than they commonly would by other means. The government suffers from too many representatives who are out of touch with the needs of the younger generation and subsequently do not take into great consideration these needs. These representatives pass laws and bills of which they do not need to worry about the ramifications of because it will never affect them. This is inherently dangerous to the fabric of American society and will bankrupt our nation of money and morality (whatever little we have left). A fresh infusion of young individuals into the political spectrum would do our country more good than ill, assuming proper education and desire to participate.
     

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