The fire that burned among students during the 2008 elections seems to have been extinguished for the 2012 presidential elections.
“The race is put on the back burner, said Tia Haynes, precinct committee woman of district 3109 in Leon County, and fourth year architecture student from Tallahassee.
“I see it most when I’m trying to register people to vote. I see in a lot of my constituents and peers that they’re just going through the motions rather than excited to make a difference.”
According to the Census Bureau, voting rates in the South increased among young people 18-24 in the year 2008 during elections compared to 2004. Of that age group, 15,082 young adults were registered voters in 2008; 12,515 of them voted in the 2008 elections which is no surprise because citizens with at least some college experience are four times as likely to vote than without it.
To keep momentum in this years elections, college students need to know the facts about both candidates platforms because it’s essential for their final vote. When millions tuned into the Presidential Debate, education was a topic voiced by President Barack Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney.
Romney said he had no plan to cut education funding. “I don’t have any plan to cut education funding and grants that go to people going to college. I’m planning on continuing to grow, so I’m not planning on making changes there,” said Romney.
However, Romney has been supporting a federal budget plan by his running mate, Paul Ryan, to cut billions from education funding.
“You have to hold people accountable for their platform points and what they said they were going to do and what they’ve done,” said Haynes. “If they knew he [President Obama] has followed up with every one of his platform points or most of them and if they look at his opposition, there would be more drive to seek that information.”
Many feel since the election of President Obama, students in support of him have become complacent because history has already been made. The first African American president is in office, but it doesn’t mean the work to keep him there is over.
“Compared to the last election I feel like more people were excited because it was the first time we could have possibly had an African American president,” said Kamiron Pittman, a senior biology student form Winter Haven, Fla. “So people went out of their way to vote, but now Obama’s Presidency its not so much of a hype anymore.”
Under the Presidency of Obama, the maximum Federal Pell grant award for the 2012-2013 school year has increased to $5,550 according to FAFSA student aid program report, compared to the 2008-2009 school year which was $4,731.
Tiffany McLeod, a senior English student from Tallahassee says that the drive among students has disappeared and that may bring consequences,
“They think tuition is high now, we don’t get enough financial aid. Then don’t vote? They’ll see what happens,” McLeod said.
The last day for voter registration is Oct. 9, 2012. Make sure you seize the opportunity to make your vote count.