Despite past outcomes, youth vote key in upcoming election

By Joanna Aguirre

For many college students, Super Tuesday’s Primary will be the first time they vote in a presidential election.

However, many local elections go unanswered by student voters in the Champaign area every year. Champaign city council woman, Karen Foster, described what she witnessed during last year’s city council election.

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    “In most University districts fewer than ten people voted,” Foster said. “This is out of several thousand students, so their votes really get wasted.”

    Political Science Professor, Scott Althaus said that if young adults don’t use their voices by voting, they can’t be heard.

    “The 18 to 24 year olds are usually written off by most campaigns,” Althaus said. “Because from a campaign perspective they might have distinctive interests, they might have useful perspectives, but they don’t vote.”

    According to the Youth Vote Coalition, 27 million citizens are between the ages of 18 and 24. They make up 15 percent of the population, and only 60 percent are registered to vote.

    In 2000, not even half of the youth that was registered, voted. Althaus hopes things will be different this time around.

    “If you can’t count on them from a campaign standpoint, you don’t reach out to them in ways that would really help to motivate those folks,” Althaus said. “So I’d like to see college students in our area and all around the country this year showing that the conventional wisdom is wrong.”

    The conventional wisdom Althaus talks about has been around for a while, and he said it’s about time we take care of that.