- Jordan Francis
Bridging the Gap Between College Students and the Voting Polls
College students have fewer turnouts at the polls than other generation demographics. Why is this?
One thing to consider is that some college kids go away to school and are not eligible to vote where their dorm is located (even then, a lot of campaigning is a door-to-door process that does not happen on college campuses). Some students move away to different states for school. In the state of Missouri, you must be a Missouri resident to vote. According to the Missouri Department of Revenue, to be counted as a Missouri resident you must either maintain a permanent residency in Missouri or spend more than 183 days in Missouri (the average college semester being 75 days, one year of college would be 150 days). Missouri college residents can register their dorm address as their voting address, but you can only register one address—you could not be registered to both their dorm and your parents’ home.
Some students feel as though their votes do not matter, that their voices will not be heard even if they vote. That may seem true since the electoral college determines the presidential winner instead of the popular vote like we witnessed in the 2016 election night when Donald Trump won the presidency over Hilary Clinton despite having fewer votes. A Gallup World Poll survey from 2016 reported that only 30% of US voters had confidence in the honesty of US elections. When the survey was conducted again in 2019, it had only reported 40% confidence in the honesty of US elections.
The problem with the mindset of apathy in college-age voters is that they do not realize how much power they truly have. Pewresearch reported in 2018 that Millennials and Gen Z will be the largest generation ins the US electorate in the coming election.
Political identities are incredibly personal. It feels as though in the last four years, Americans have been stewing in their political identities and tip to the boiling point when discussing politics with someone of a different political stance. In a year as wild as 2020, this election feels life or death to some. The country seems to be on the cusp of shifting radically right or left, which makes this election so vital, so pivotal. Those students that do not feel ready to pick a side may feel very isolated, apathetic, and willing to skip the whole thing altogether.
If you registered for absentee ballots for the mail-in voting, you can get it notarized on campus on Wednesday, October 14th, and Wednesday, October 21st between 11 A.M. and 4 P.M. between Clark Hall and SSB in the quad space. What do you need to take with you when you vote or notarize an absentee ballot? You can bring valid forms of ID such as a driver’s license, a student ID card, any US government agency ID card, or even a copy of your current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, or government document that has the name and address used when registered to vote.
What do you need to take with you when you vote or notarize an absentee ballot? You can bring valid forms of ID such as a driver’s license, a student ID card, any US government agency ID card, or even a copy of your current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, or government document that has the name and address used when registered to vote.