In 2010, just 27 percent of registered voters in Texas cast ballots. Statistics show people younger than 30 are the least likely to vote. Del Mar College Professor James Klein said there are many reasons for this.
“Motivating people to vote is difficult,” said Klein, assistant professor of history. Common excuses from students include that they don’t know the issues, and all politicians are crooks. “We live in a participatory democracy; it can only operate if people participate,” Klein said.
Del Mar College student Thomas Stevenson, 18, said he is unlikely to vote this November. “I don’t much like politics. Politicians argue about pointless things. My vote won’t achieve much within such conflicting parties,” Stevenson said, adding that political party gridlock discourages him the most.
As a deputized voter registrar, Klein registers and encourages students in his class to cast their vote. Recognizing that identifying with a political party is tough, Klein suggests students find party platforms and use these as guideposts to agree or disagree on issues. According to Klein, not voting makes it easier for “crooks” to be elected into office.
“Honestly, I probably won’t vote. I’m just not that educated in politics,” said 19-year-old Del Mar student Ashley Rodriguez. “It’s confusing stuff. I guess it’s a little boring sometimes. I’m also kind of a lazy person.” Rodriguez said she does not plan to register to vote.
“I was never really interested until recently, as you grow up, you realize how much it affects you,” said 20-year-old Del Mar College student Ashley Sandoval. Sandoval was just recently registered in her Texas government class. Sandoval says she understands the importance of her vote.
“You want to vote for someone who will really make the best choices for you,” she said. “No one is ever going to know everything, but it is important that we always try our best. The terrible trend can be reversed,” Klein said. “I would hope that Del Mar students are more likely to vote.”
The last day to register to vote in the Nov. 4 election is Oct. 6. Early voting begins Oct. 20.