Young Voters Can be The Change They Wish to See

A couple of weeks ago, the Bullet ran an article about how conservatives are trying to cripple college students’ right to vote, as they believe students tend to baselessly vote liberal. This is in contrast to the efforts of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), which has been unsuccessfully encouraging volunteers to promote voting among young people. A disconnect such as this is truly startling, and raises the question of whether we, as the young voter demographic, need to help ourselves when it comes to increasing our own voter turnout.

The idea of raising awareness about voting outside of the political spectrum is nothing new; in 2004, there was the Citizen Change campaign, more commonly known as Vote or Die, founded by P. Diddy and sponsored by other music artists including Mariah Carey and 50 Cent. Nevermind the fact that nobody associates burgeoning music artists with politics; the stated aim of encouraging 42 million young people to vote through scare tactics and selling t-shirts left the movement crippled before it could really gain any momentum.

More successful is the Rock the Vote campaign, which uses famous music artists and popular culture icons to educate young people about how important it is that their voices are heard in the political process. According to their website, they have successfully registered five million voters, and for 2012, plan to “reinvigorate our country’s democracy and redefine citizenship.”

It is good that there are sponsored movements such as these out there, but if the goal is to try to foster an appreciation towards the electoral process, it can’t be done through impersonal websites or celebrity endorsements; it needs to be done by us, the targeted demographic.

The Democrats have the right idea in recruiting volunteers to canvas their hometowns, but this method is proving to no longer be as effective as it once was. According to Fox Nation, the Obama campaign is having trouble getting the same kind of support from the eight million volunteers that helped him win the first time. Time will tell whether or not this will change closer to the election.

Either way, according to the Young Democrats website, by 2015 our generation will make up approximately one-third of the electorate. This means that we, Generation Y, will have more of a say in the political process than ever before, with the amount of influence only increasing as time goes on. Whatever method that gets us out of political ignorance and into the polls needs to be discovered soon, lest our voices be silenced by those who are afraid of what we think.

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8 Comments

  1. Mary Weaver Mann says:

    You might want to consider this report by the Pew Center on the States and commented upon in Taki’s Magazine:

    “Released on Tuesday, Pew’s report, titled Inaccurate, Costly, and Inefficient: Evidence That America’s Voter Registration System Needs an Upgrade, arrived at these nostril-searing statistics:

    • Approximately 24 million—one of every eight—active voter registrations in the United States are no longer valid or are significantly inaccurate.
    • More than 1.8 million deceased individuals are listed as active voters.
    • Approximately 2.75 million people have active registrations in more than one state.”
    >
    > http://takimag.com/article/having_trouble_maintaining_an_election2?utm_source=Taki%27s+Magazine+List&utm_campaign=c9c82f89c8-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email#axzz1mrSPDKkr

    Other statistics were listed weeks ago in this article, “Voter Fraud is Real” from the Pittsburg Post-Gazette in December:

    http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11352/1197406-373-0.stm#ixzz1lBakM3jf

    Unlike the speaker in front of the library, these are real statistics, not just a young wannabe spouting off things that he wants other people to believe are true.

  2. Oh Mary Ann, I wanted to read what you had written and take it as being a helpful person. Honestly, I did! Then I read your last sentence and now I can’t take any of your criticisms seriously because of the biting tone you had all along. :/ Better luck next time!

  3. Arnold says:

    Mary: Help me understand how much voter fraud there is. Give me that statistic because the ones you listed in your comment have nothing to do with voter fraud, they have to do with voter rolls not being purged frequently enough to take care of them.
    .
    Do you sincerely believe voters who have registrations in more than one state have deliberately created multiple registrations in the hope of voting in multiple states, or is it more likely that they moved recently and haven’t been purged off the previous state’s voter rolls?
    .
    Do you sincerely believe dead people are trying to vote, or do you believe those people died and haven’t been purged off the state’s voter rolls yet?
    .
    Since you like stats, here’s some from the Brennan Center for you:
    .
    “Indeed, evidence from the microscopically scrutinized 2004 gubernatorial election in Washington State actually reveals just the opposite: though voter fraud does happen, it happens approximately 0.0009% of the time. The similarly closely-analyzed 2004 election in Ohio revealed a voter fraud rate of 0.00004%. National Weather Service data shows that Americans are struck and killed by lightning about as often.”
    .
    http://www.brennancenter.org/content/resource/policy_brief_on_the_truth_about_voter_fraud/
    .
    So how many legislative calories do we need to burn analyzing something that happens as often as Americans are struck by lightning? (Presumably the odds are higher for someone wearing a tinfoil hat)
    .
    (Before you say it – the Brennan Center has a history of arguing against voter ID laws because they argue it potentially disenfranchises 10% of the population, a much higher number of votes than are actually cast by voter fraud. But at the same time, if they have a partisan agenda I would have imagined they would have found something much higher in Ohio in 2004, a state and election that is frequently believed to have voter issues that benefited Republican President George W. Bush).
    .
    All the research on the topic asserts that the more difficult you make it to vote, the fewer people turn out to vote. If you need cites with some more stats I’ll be happy to provide them. Or you can Google Scholar “motor voter law turnout” if you’re interested in the data on this topic yourself. There’s a well-developed academic literature on this topic.
    .
    “These are real statistics, not just a…wannabe spouting off things that he wants other people to believe are true.”

  4. Arnold says:

    Here’s another stat for you from The Pilot, a newspaper based in Southern Pines, NC.
    .
    “In June 2011, state Sen. Harris Blake and state Rep. Jamie Boles both voted for House Bill 351, titled “Restore Confidence in Government,” a bill intended to prevent voter impersonation and identity fraud (VIFr) by mandating that voters have government issued photo IDs.

    However, in vetoing this bill, Gov. Beverly Perdue avoided tasking the North Carolina Board of Elections with the issuance of about 200,000 IDs at a cost of $6 million to $8 million. Republicans authorized $600,000 directly with funds held in reserve.”
    .
    http://www.thepilot.com/news/2011/dec/23/voter-fraud-itself-a-fraudulent-issue/
    .
    $6,000,000 to $8,000,000 for an issue that affects such a small number of voters? Is this how you want your tax dollars to be spent? That much money could do any number of great things, but if you prefer it to be devoted to clearing up 0.0009% of all votes then I suppose we can agree to disagree.

      • Mary Weaver Mann says:

        Can you believe the stupidity and unconstitutionality of this!

        http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=GqMVxeZhflI&feature=player_embedded

        • Arnold says:

          Forgive me: I didn’t watch the entire video, but did it end with someone actually voting under Tim Tebow or Tom Brady’s fraudulent registrations? Or are we just back to the point that the voter rolls have a bunch of errors in them?

          I’m still curious for Ms. Mann to show me numbers of fraudulent ballots that are actually cast in a given election year, and for her to answer my questions about whether those numbers justify the several million dollars that people want to spend on these new laws.

          Also, while we’re speaking of legality of laws, I would like Ms. Mann’s opinion on how voter ID laws would pass muster with Section 2 of the VRA.

  5. Mary Weaver Mann says:

    Townhall Magazine reports in their March issue very suspicious activity in Texas where voter fraud research was done in Jackson Lee’s district. After the media took an interest in the abnormalities following an August 24th news conference, a fire destroyed $30 MILLION dollars worth of voting equipment. HMMM.
    According to the article by Brandon Darby:

    The group began doing research into the abnormalities in Jackson Lee’s district. They took the first 3,800 registrations of the flagged 19,596 homes with six or more registrants and began to investigate further. The group visited addresses and scoured property tax records. The group found many of the addresses were vacant lots or business addresses. Thirty-nine were registered at businesses and 97 of the addresses were nonexistent. One hundred six of the registrations revealed the same registrant registered more than once, and 207 of the addresses turned out to be vacant lots. Meanwhile, 595 registrations had registrants with driver’s license addresses not matching the registration, and many were voting in a district they did not live in. Of the random 3,800 registrations from Jackson Lee’s predominantly Democratic district, 25 percent had critical errors which Catherine Engelbrecht believes could result in an erosion of election integrity.

    The media began to focus on the findings from the Harris County tax assessor’s office and True the Vote. Shortly after the August 24 press conference announcing the results of the office’s investigation, a fire of unknown origins burned down the warehouse containing all of Harris County’s voting equipment. In total, the fire claimed 10,000 voting machines, which was approximately $30,000,000 worth of equipment. …

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