EDUCATION

College students predict low turnout for young voters in presidential election

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By Katarina Boutsis, Jessie Gregory, Jakiyah Haywood, Sarah Henderson, Emma McCabe and Will Morrison

This will be the first presidential election many University of Mississippi students vote in. In the fourth story of an election coverage series, we randomly interviewed students on campus to ask if they believe young people care about the presidential election and if they think Americans their age will vote.

UM student Zack Grossenbacher is a first-time voter who believes this election will result in major changes for America. “This has been such a heated topic,” he said. “I have never been more involved in politics than I am now.  I look forward to voting, since it will be my first time.”

Grossenbacher believes more young people will be voting in this election than ever before. “I expect this election to have a higher voter turnout consisting of young people, college kids for example, than any other election in the past,” he said.

Amechia Carter, 20, has not decided who he’ll vote for, and he thinks many college students feel the same way. He doesn’t believe those who are undecided, like him, will vote.

“I think people are concerned about the election out of fear and uncertainty,” he said. “I also feel as if college students, since faced with such a harsh decision, will be less inclined to vote due to the circumstances that surrounded the election.”

However, Carter believes many will vote because they want change, “though it really doesn’t matter to others because they may not want either one to be in office,” he said.

UM senior Logan Daniel said he thinks the election is important to some students, but he’s not sure how many will vote. “I don’t really think a lot of students here will vote in this election,” he said. “A few might, but it’s hard to tell with the candidates. They either really love them or hate them.”

UM sophomore Sara Norton said some students her age are interested in the election and some are not. “I feel like half of the kids my age are really interested in politics and how the country works, but there is also a large portion of students who could honestly care less,” she said.

Norton said she’ll vote in the election, but she knows others who won’t. “A lot of students are out of state, so it requires them to fill out an absentee ballot,” said Norton. “Voting is really important, but many college students are busy and just don’t find the time to get everything done.”

Alec Ossorio, a UM senior studying banking and finance, believes there will be a low turnout for college-age voters. “It is a major inconvenience to drive back home just to vote, and most people are too lazy to get an absentee ballot,” he said. “I would say the majority of students that go to school more than 30 minutes away from home will not vote.”

Ossorio said there seems to be three kinds of voters. They include: “Those who stand strongly behind Trump no matter what he says,” Ossorio said. “They may not completely agree with him, but they hate Hillary so much that they just want to use their vote to lessen her chances.”

There are also strong Hillary supporters, he said. “I feel that this group is Obama supporters that just want another four years under his policies,” he said.

The last group “are the people who are completely frustrated with both candidates. This group may not be the majority in the U.S., but at Ole Miss, it may be.”

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