Students neglect civic duty

Tyler Buske, Lamp staff

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, only 61.4 percent of eligible voters voted in the 2016 election. The turnout for voters age 18 to 29 was only 46.1 percent.

Midterm elections, like the one this year, tend to have an even lower turnout than presidential elections.

The Lamp surveyed two classes at Lincoln Land Community College, and 26 out of 38 students said that they were registered to vote and 29 out of 38 said they intend to vote this November.

Students who reported they did not intend to vote in the 2018 midterm election gave a variety of reasons. Farrah Barnes said “… I don’t know anything about it. All I know is J.B.’s stuff pops up on my YouTube and it’s annoying,” Barnes said. 

Fatigue from the amount of campaign ads is understandable. J.B. Pritzker has spent $146 million; more money than any other gubernatorial candidate in U.S. history. 

Many people also feel that politicians don’t actually care about their constituents. 

“Career politicians. I don’t like them. They only do it for the paycheck, instead of represent the people,” Jaden Elliot, a student, said.

Voter apathy is particularly high among youth voters. The turnout for voters age 18 to 29 in the 2016 election was only 46.1 percent.

Others, like Matthew Benson, don’t think the candidates do a good job of explaining what they plan to do when they take office.

“Nobody really says what they’re planning to do … (they) only talk about how bad their opponent is. And that’s just stupid,” Benson said.

Still, some students have a more positive attitude towards the idea of voting in the upcoming election. 

“It’s our duty. We’re supposed to do it,” Wise said.  Adam Emery stated that the “Only way to have a true election is for everyone to vote.”

Tyler Buske can be reached at [email protected]