Election Demographics

This morning I asked my 11 a.m. class to write a paragraph about why they were or were not voting tomorrow. My students are in the notoriously underrepresented 18-25 age bracket.

3 are undecided
10 are voting
3 too young to vote
6 forgot to register

We’ve talked about the upcoming election a bit– they wrote responses to each of the debates, but were not required to watch them.  The six who forgot to register or whose absentee ballots were somehow compromised are mostly banking on NY going for Obama anyway. 

Of the 10 who are voting, 5 are for Obama, 2 for McCain, and 3 did not tell me who they are voting for (I think 2 Obama and 1 McCain).  The Obama supporters “want to be part of history.” The McCain supporters “don’t want to kill babies”* and are “Republican because my parents are.” 

Reasons for voting include: being part of history, duty/responsibility/privelege, “the first year an African American man has a big chance of becoming president,”  “the idea of a McCain-Palin administration scares the crap out of me,” “free Starbucks coffee.”  Reasons for not voting include, “my religion does not recommend” (Muslim… gosh don’t they really need to vote, to get an administration that doesn’t support hatred and misunderstanding of their religion?) and “I forgot to register.” Undecideds say, “it doesn’t matter because the country is so corrupt,” “I could not even decide what I wanted for breakfast this morning!” and “I don’t really like either of the candidates.”  One undecided voter is considering voting for Nader.

I will end this post by saying that I already voted via absentee ballot in Virginia (because I forgot to re-register in NY), for Obama. 

* I tried to explain how social liberals see Abortion as “the right to a safe termination of pregnancy” and “a woman’s right not to have a baby just because she’s been inseminated,” as opposed to how social conservatives see it, which is “killing babies.”  Obviously, these things can’t be equated.  They’re not on the same level.  One is from the position of the baby (or fetus or group of cells) and one is from the position of a woman who does not want to have a child (for whatever reason).


About Jessica Smith

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3 Responses to Election Demographics

  1. Helen says:

    How people can believe gun ownership is an individual freedom but the inside of your own body should be state-controlled beats me. Oh well.

    I’m not voting because I’m not American. (It would be Obama, of course.) I don’t remember there ever being anything like this much interest in a foreign election before, it’s crazy.

  2. There are a lot of weird inconsistencies like that. At least the Catholic Church finally got their shit together and said that they’re anti-abortion and anti-death penalty. I respected them for finally erasing that inconsistency.

    It’s at fever pitch here– I dont’ remember there ever being this much interest in our own elections! Hopefully we’ll get record turnout.

  3. Mark L. says:

    I told my students that they didn’t have to come to class if they voted (and brought me something from the polls.) Many of them said that they hadn’t planned on voting, but would do so if it would get them out of my shitty class.

    I consider my civic duty done.

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