To Vote Or Not: Why student voting creates a controversy

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As the 2012 presidential election approaches, the state legislature in New Hampshire has considered making changes that affect voter identification, residency requirements, same-day registration and voting by mail to clear up any confusion that students might have and my also influence other states, as addressed by Capitol Hill.

Students play an important role in elections but apparently resort to vote for the social issues that interest them and for which they have invested a plentiful amount of time rather than the more important issues that require research.

“In order to vote, you need to invest a lot of time,” Patricia Kircher, associate professor of political science, said.

Sometimes, the case may even be that they have been influenced by another source.

“Most students are not that interested and tend to make decisions based on what their parents vote,” Kircher said.

After the 2008 elections, the Democratic party received most of their support from the 18 to 20-year-old age group, which according to the U.S. Census Bureau accounted for 41 percent of the total number of people that voted for both Republicans and Democrats.

Many wonder up to this point why it is that student voting has created such a controversy. The answer is as noted by the Census Bureau the average American moves to a different place of residency for an average of 11 times.

The issue here is that as each state sets a registration date, students or the population ages 18-21 tend to register wherever they are residing and are often confused on whether to go back home or vote where they are.

What they do not know is that there is an absentee ballot, which can be issued upon request.

“Students don’t know much about the absentee ballot,” Kircher said.

An absentee ballot is a form that must be completed by those that are not present in their area of residence and guarantees their vote to them.

With the coming 2012 presidential election, students will once again be encouraged to vote. With the help of social media, which gives them the opportunity to spread the knowledge about who is running for office, the next president will be elected.

“Since students are up-to-date with technology, the use of internet is now higher than before,” freshmen and political science major Michelle Gamez said.

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