College-aged eligible voters refusing to participate in the voting process a constant reality

Matt Gergely

Staff Writer

As many people are unhappy with the recent climate has been chaotic and constantly changing, the same could be said about the current political climate.

The May primaries are approaching and this, as well as the following midterm election this November, will see a number of new candidates and issues appearing on the ballot.  However, for many people, particularly college-aged eligible voters, apathy toward voter participation is a worrying trend.

According to the Lorain County Board of Elections, over 55,000 ballots were casted in the General Election of 2017. The voter turnout rate was a record low of 26 percent which is the lowest in four years with the 2013 turnout rate (28 percent) being the next lowest turnout rate in this decade.

The causes of this decrease of voting may be the loss of importance of the vote in years that are not in a presidential election year. Looking at data provided from the Lorain County Board of Elections showed that almost 70 percent of voters turned up in 2016 to cast their vote for president. This 44 percent difference is troubling as in general, people seem not to put much thought into this midterm or normal elections.

College-aged voters had an even more dismal turnout with only 17 percent casting ballots in the 2014 election, according to the Campus Vote Project. Stressing the importance of these elections no matter how small can affect in larger ways then some state and federal election.

This voter apathy may be a deciding factor in many races this November as issues and candidates can tend to benefit from low voter turnout which is undermining the institution of democracy.

The ballot this year will also see local and state issues and levies that can have a significant impact on the community. At the state level, Ohio Issue 1 will focus on how Ohio districts are redrawn and the proposed issue will attempt the “gerrymandering” of districts that present unfair advantages to particular groups.  “Everyone should have the same opprotunity because of the many resources that are being taken advantage of,” said Lorain County Community College Psychology Major Kayla Hebebrand.