Opinion: College Voters

by Felisa Cardenas 563 views0

During every presidential election, campaigns such as “Rock the Vote” and “The Campus Vote Project” aim to get young voters, ages 18 to 24, into the voting booths. The youth vote is important in shaping our nation’s future, but many don’t realize they don’t have to wait every four years to make their voices heard.

Every year the primary and general elections are held to elect representatives and senators to Congress and to pass bills that affect your community. The power to make a difference in your city, state and nation is at your fingers twice a year, but according to the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement in 2010, less than 13 percent of college students said that the reason they didn’t vote was that they weren’t interested.

College of the Canyons was no exception to the statistic. Cougar News was determined to find out just how much Cougars know about issues in the upcoming election, politics and American political history.

In keeping with the American spirit and America’s favorite past time, each student was given three chances to prove his or her smarts before striking out.

CoC Student- Tyler Clark
CoC Student- Tyler Clark

When asked about issues on the ballot coming up on November 4, not a single student interviewed could tell you what the vote was for. “Oh, what is Prop 1? That’s a good question,” answered Tyler Clark. Proposition 1 is in regards to “funding for water quality, treatment and storage projects,” according to the California General Election Voter’s Guide.

We then asked students if they knew anything about Measure S on the Santa Clarita ballot.

“Hell no,” said student Kris Rose. After explaining the issue and asking for his reaction to it, he replied, “Who cares?”

Yet, these students could tell you how many senators each state has and which president served the longest in office.

You’d be surprised what shocking answer was common among Cougars when asked who our current governor is. Both Sandra Garcia and Christian Lomeli knew that our governor’s last name is Brown, but when asked his first name, they responded, “John.”

Garcia knew other facts, however, such as when women were granted the right to vote and that Franklin D. Roosevelt was our longest serving president. Lomeli could tell you what you need to register to vote and that nine judges sit on the Supreme Court.

CoC Student- Veronica Romero
CoC Student- Veronica Romero

Veronica Romero admitted before answering questions, “I’m not political savvy at all.” When asked how many representatives in California, she answered, “OK, representatives is by population. I’m going to guess 47.” She made a good attempt, but California is currently the most populated state and has 53 representatives in the House, and while she thought Senators served two years a term instead of six, she did know that Jerry Brown is our current governor.

Only one Cougar got his answer right on the first try. Vini Buttino knew that the general election is held in November. When given the option to pick a photo caption for our Cougar News photo booth he was the only person who knew anything about the Green Party.

Unfortunately, only one young voter, Rachel Brown, got all three answers correct. She knew that California has 53 representatives in the House, voters have 15 days before an election to register to vote and nine judges sit on the Supreme Court.

If our political future depended on the youth votes of COC, I don’t know how much of a future our nation would have. However, it’s never too late to start being a more active citizen. Be sure, if you’re registered to vote, to take a look at your voter’s guide and cast your vote on Nov. 4.

Don’t forget to tune into our Election Special on Nov. 4 at 8 p.m. on cougarnews.com and on SCVTV. Cougar News will bring you live results from around the valley, state and nation.