Voice opinions in voting booth
On Tuesday, Nov. 7, months of campaigning by Governor George W. Bush, Vice President Al Gore, Ralph Nader and other candidates and interest groups will come to a close. However, recent polls of young voters ages 18-24 predict that months of campaigning will have had little effect on this group. The primary poll conducted by MTV and the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation shows increased apathy with only 50 percent of voters under 25 registered and only 46 percent of those registered planning to vote.
Despite this apathy, the same poll showed that young voters have strong opinions on the election issues. With predictions of voter indifference directed at the college students' age bracket, it becomes even more imperative for Notre Dame and Saint Mary's students to voice their opinions in the coming election.
Many college students say they don't vote because the candidates do not address issues that are relevant to students concerns. The candidates in the 2000 campaign, however, have addressed several important issues that are of value to students' futures.
Moreover, many of these campaign issues are frequent topics in campus discussions. Abortion rights, gun-control, student financial aid and Social Security have all gained a growing audience on these campuses because of the Catholic nature of the colleges and recent national events.
Financing education is a tremendous expense to parents and to students, and the candidates' approaches to loans, savings plans and tax deductions are important. A percentage of student pay checks goes to Social Security. Though students are paying now, there are no guarantees that the funds will be around when students retire many years down the road.
There are numerous proponents of a woman's right to choose on both campuses, however, many more feel that abortion is wrong and should not be legally practiced. If students truly feel passionate about this issue, they must speak out in the voting booth.
The need for students to voice their opinions of the issues of today and choose a candidate reflecting their beliefs is important. But beyond that, a strong turnout at the polls by this age group is important for the future. If candidates see that younger voters represent a large block of votes, they will more likely address issues related to younger voters in the future.
All Viewpoint Stories for Friday, October 6, 2000