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Gators show up to vote

November 11, 2018

Gators show up to vote

Midterm elections have historically been particularly disappointing with regards to young voter turnout. But this year’s midterm turnout is far higher than typical, and SF State University student voters followed along with the trend.

Students lined up all afternoon and into the night at the polling place on campus at the Seven Hills Conference Center.

Alandra Cruz a pre-psychology major who couldn’t vote during the last election due to age restrictions said this time around, she was determined to make a difference.

“I’m voting to help make change and to beat out the republicans,” said Cruz while waiting in line at the Seven Hills Conference center.

Other students echoed Cruz’s determination to bring about change.

“It’s the only way to make real change,” said Jarred Finch a sophomore English major at SF state.

In 2014, young voters struggled to produce a 25 percent turnout, a historical low, according to U.S. census data. Back then, according to a UC Davis study, voter turnout among youths in california didn’t even reach the 10 percent margin.

However,  the past two years have seen a resurgence of registered voters across the country which has translated into an astounding revival of voter determination to do their part.

Voter participation rates for this years midterm election more closely resembled those of a presidential year. While exact vote tallies won’t be available for several weeks, the preliminary data align with pre-election surveys, which reported a record number of young voters who said they would vote.

Thirty-one percent of youth voters, defined as those aged between 18 and 29, cast ballots in the 2018 midterm elections. This is the highest turnout since before 1994, according to an early evaluation by the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (Circle) at Tufts University. This year’s turnout is estimated to be at least 10 percent higher than the last midterm election in 2014 midterms.

And in a number of states overall voter turnout reached record highs; states like Oregon, Colorado, Minnesota and a few other states had turnout rates over 60 percent according to the United States Elections Project.

With current projections the U.S. could be on it’s way to recovering from the initial 17 percent plunge voter turnout took in 1974, and headed back towards its 48 percent peak in 1966.

School administrators involved in raising student turnout have remained impartial choosing to advertised for voter registration and information on the ballot through the Government and Community Relations (GCR) website without advocation of a particular political affiliation. The efforts stem from from the need to cauterize the bleeding voter population which, until last year, had shown excessive declines in the U.S. since the 1960’s.

“[GCR] sent out voter registration and ballot information via their website” said Ivan Natividad SF states public affairs and communication specialist.

The importance of voter turnout cannot be overstated. Speaking at a Democratic National Committee earlier this year Obama emphasized exactly that.

“Boil it down; if we don’t vote this democracy doesn’t work,” said former president Obama.

A message that translated into record voter registration numbers and voter turnout numbers across the nation.