As Election Day comes to a close and ballots are counted, some Marist College students wonder whether or not their friends voted today.
So what is standing in the way of most college students’ ability to vote? Well for starters, it could be the recent inclement weather forcing today’s youth into hiding. The snow that fell last week broke a thirty-year record, not to mention the fifth time in recorded history that it snowed in October.
Maybe it could simply be the mere fact that people do not vote because they do not care enough to. Topping the list of obstacles standing in a youth voter’s way of actually voting is procrastination, which could be a reason for many other things. While some students do not want to be bothered with having to fill out an absentee ballot or drive to the nearest voter’s poll, others have come to the conclusion that their vote does not count.
“Obama is going to win New York anyway, why should I vote?” Marist College junior Stephen Reiser asked. “It doesn’t matter if I vote or not.”
Perhaps if everyone thought this way, then this foreseen outcome might be different. There are, however, others who fear this way of thinking, calling it an inadequate reason for not doing something that will affect them for the next four years.
“I have been telling all of my friends to vote for months,” Marist College junior Michael Fowler said. “I don’t care who you vote for, but you should exercise a right that was given to you because not everyone has this opportunity.”
Last May, Ryan Seacrest announced that there were 97.5 million votes in the 2008 American Idol. This number is remarkably close to the 126 million people that voted in the 2004 election, according to the United States Census Bureau. Considering President Bush only received 65 million of those votes to become president, a question arises: is America more worried about who will be the next American Idol or who will be the next American president?
“That’s absolutely ridiculous and really sad,” Reiser said. “I can’t believe that this could be true.”
Last month, a video that featured several celebrities, from Jennifer Aniston to Leonardo Dicaprio, was placed on Youtube warning its viewers not to vote. However, half way through the video, the celebrities list all the reasons why one should vote and they ask each voter to tell five of their friends to vote. The celebrities state “if you care about gun control, women’s rights, civil rights…then maybe you should vote.”
The current generation is much different from those of the past considering the sixties, which were filled with activists and protestors. Even in a time of war there are still several people who believe that voting is not as important as what they are doing this Friday night.
“It is in everyone’s best interest to vote, not as the responsibility to yourself,” Fowler said, “but as the responsibly as an American.”