Busted Halo
feature : word on ths street
November 7th, 2006
Word on the Street : Midterm Elections

Are you planning on voting this Tuesday? Why or why not? What issues matter to you? How do you feel about criticisms that young people are apathetic when it comes to voting and politics?

Heather, 18
"I sent in my absentee ballot already. Voting is very important to me because it's important to get your voice out and even though it might seem so small, I believe one vote can change a lot…I think I'd like to see more consideration for healthcare and for education as a whole and also more consideration for social justice issues such as more funding for low-income cities as a whole. I just think that we need to take more consideration of those who have less than what the American dream is…I think youth need to break out of what culture views us as, as mindless and not caring about political issues at all. We are the future."
Amy, 21
"If I am home, I plan on voting. They always say that one person's vote doesn't count but if everybody said that, then we would never get enough votes in. So I think it's important to read up on your town's elections and vote for who you think is good…I don't know a lot of the issues but I know the taxes and things like that are important to vote on, so I'll be looking for that. I'd like to see people cut property taxes, especially in New Jersey since prices are going up so much…I think that young people do get politically involved but not necessarily because they know a lot about it. They hear one issue and they hear one side of it and they start protesting but I think it's important to hear both sides of each party and then make a decision from there."
Todd, 31
"I've sent in my absentee ballot. Why shouldn't you vote? Why not? I have points of view and I want to elect those people with the same points of view. When I hear about things in the news or in the papers about what congress does or other elected officials do that's not sensible or just against my point of view, I want to vote because if I don't vote, then I can't change that. It just makes sense…I think the economy is very important and I think the way we use our tax dollars to support different programs is important to me. I hope the Democrats take control of congress. We'll see."
Anita, 29
"I do plan on voting because it's important for me to help stop the war and to get Bush out of office. There are other issues I am voting on. I am voting to even out the House of Representatives and really for women's rights because eventually it's going to come up again. After Tuesday, I would like to see peace and better foreign policy and less ego on the part of Americans. I would agree [with the criticisms that young people are apathetic]. I don't think that enough people within my age bracket are really concerned or have any clue what's going on. They just ignore it and pretend like it's not really happening and I think that that is really really scary, especially with global warming and all those kinds of things. If it's not done by us, then it won't be done."
Richard, 22
"No, I am not planning on voting. Basically, I really don't follow politics and I feel like it's just a waste of time. It doesn't make sense. It's irrelevant to vote mostly because it doesn't even count, depending on whose voting. For the people who don't have that much money, their vote wont really matter…I'm not really concerned about any issues right now. I feel the government is running it pretty smoothly. They have a lot of intelligence in whatever they are doing so I feel it's pretty safe right now…About the criticisms of young people being apathetic, to each his own."
Chris, 24
"Yes. I plan on voting. I haven't missed an election yet. I think it is part of the civic duty that we have as Americans to take advantage of it…The issues that matter most to me now are the state of the economy, the war on terror, and the impact it will have on the climate in Washington. I hope that voters can send a message about the direction we are taking in this country, especially in regard to the war on terrorism. We'll just have to see how the results turn out…Yeah, it's unfortunate [that young people are apathetic]. Statistics show that our generation doesn't vote as much as we should and hopefully we will have a candidate who can change that, but it hasn't looked good so far."
Oyewole, 19
"Not at all. Well, I would vote Democrat anyway which is what New York leans to regardless. And besides that, when Bush was first elected, it showed really how much the Black vote is not really accepted or counted…The issues affecting me in my immediate community are joblessness, vagrancy, drugs, which are all symptoms of poverty. The government is not providing us a way to unify and create a system of commerce which would help support African Americans. And that is not America's objective…I feel that most of the issues and laws that are created don't protect young people. None of them are made to benefit the young people. If we don't have any kind of interest in it, what are we to do? We don't have a reason to be fighting for rights if we don't need them. If you vote, I really hope you believe in the flag, especially if you are African American because that is the only thing that is going to keep you going. If you believe they are for you, go ahead. I don't."
Mary, 26
"Yes. I already did by absentee ballot. It's important to voice your opinion…There are lot of different issues that matter to me. I think the war issues are always big. Education is always a big one. Those are probably the two most important. I am not a fan of the war but I think that continuing the support is good. We have people there and we need to continue to support them. And I also think we need continued support of our education system. We need better public schools, better financial support for public schools and its teachers...I think that the criticisms are sometimes true and sometimes not. It depends on what population you hit. I think a lot of the student population is not apathetic, especially not your university population here or your graduate school population. But I realize it's probably a small percentage of the overall young population depending on what age group you are looking at."


 
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