By Brian Devine
With the general election less than two months away and the deadline to register to vote Oct 11, DCCC is making sure students understand the voter registration process.
Campus Life hosted a club expo and voter registration event on Sept 13 at the Exton Center, one of several events held at different campuses throughout the month.
Dozens of students were able to register for the upcoming election and receive information on their voting rights while enjoying free pizza and refreshments in the main lobby.
“This election is so much more than the two figureheads,” said Director of Campus Life Allyson Gleason, referring to presidential nominees Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. “Local elections may even be more important since they directly impact voters.”
Although Gleason cited the Philadelphia soda tax as one example of a controversial local issue, many students may stay home on Nov 8.
“I can’t vote for someone I don’t believe in,” said Tyler Strunk, a business major. “I don’t identify with either candidate.”
In recent elections, voter turnout in the United States has been very low. According to Pew Research, voter turnout was 53 percent during the 2012 cycle and 57 percent during the 2008 election.
For college aged voters, the numbers are even more dramatic.
According to the Campus Vote Project, only 17 percent of young adults, ages 18 to 24, cast a vote in the 2014 election. They also found in 2008, 21 percent of voters in this age group weren’t registered to vote because they missed the deadline to do so.
Given the high unpopularity of both presidential candidates, low voter turnout may continue to be an issue experts say. According to the latest Gallup poll, Clinton has an unfavorable rating of 56 percent, while 60 percent view Trump unfavorably.
Strunk added the “media hype and mudslinging,” surrounding both campaigns is a problem and other students agreed.
“It’s more like a reality show than a serious election,” said Shelby McAlister, an undecided major.
While McAlister added she will vote for Clinton, she doesn’t believe the former secretary of state is as authentic as President Barack Obama, whose approval rating stands at 51 percent, according to Gallup.
“All of Obama’s speeches are passionate,” McAlister said. Both Trump and Clinton continue to deal with controversy as Election Day draws nearer. Questions surrounding Trump’s temperament and experience still linger while Clinton recently came under fire for her comments calling half of Trump’s supporters a “basket of deplorables.”
“How did we let it come down to these two people?” asked Shane Aikman, a business major.
Contact Brian Devine at firstname.lastname@example.org