Youth voter turnout key to elections


Photo: Yanhua Huang/ Iowa State Daily

A huge amount of people wait in line to vote Tuesday, Nov. 6, at the Memorial Lutheran Church on Lincoln Way.

Solomon Keithley

Youth voters are extremely important to each and every election. The youth voters are the future of our country and cast their votes on who they want to set them up for success.

Election Day was full of long lines, waiting and people eager and ready to cast their vote. The polling places were full from the time they opened until closing at 9 p.m. and even beyond at some places.

Emily Bennett, sophomore in pre-business, talked about her voting experience and the turnout.

“I went around two o’clock when I thought it wouldn’t be as busy to vote,” Bennett said. “But I still had to wait in line for 30 to 45 minutes. My friends went around dinner time, and I heard they had to wait over two hours to vote, so I’m glad I went when I did.”

Some people did not make it out to vote for various reasons, such as long lines, work or being too busy.

“Some of my friends didn’t go because they had to work right after class,” Bennett said. “And when they heard that the lines were two hours long, they didn’t want to go.”

Steffen Schmidt, university professor of political science, gave his view on why people missed out on voting.

“People don’t vote because they are sick; they forget; they are too busy,” Schmidt said. “And, also, because many are just not interested in politics. Some don’t vote because they don’t like the choices of candidates. Others don’t vote because they believe their vote won’t actually make a difference.”

Schmidt said he believes that Obama won the popular vote because of the youth voter turnout.

“Obama won because young voters turned out in huge numbers,” Schmidt said.  “The GOP, in fact, is very worried about losing the next generation. In New Hampshire, it was mostly young voters and women in record numbers who brought in a Democratic landslide of two women elected to the House of Representatives, a new woman governor and bunch of Democrats in state offices. The turnout was excellent and far greater than predicted. The turnout in Iowa was good, and ISU students also did a great job registering and then voting either early, absentee or on election night.”

The lines were long, and many lines were wrapped around outside of buildings, but many still hung in there to make their voice heard and cast their vote. It was a great turnout at the polls on Tuesday, and hopefully, Schmidt said, the turnout will continue to look like that in the future.