Unmotivated and discouraged students during the fall elections

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With less than two weeks before the 2022 Fall Midterm Elections, many people across the country are scrambling to retrieve their ballots and make other last-minute preparations to ensure their ability to cast their votes. While most working-class adults appear eager to go out and participate, college students attending universities throughout the nation seem to have a different outlook.

Unmotivated and discouraged are two words one could use to describe the feelings of U.S students regarding this year’s midterm election. Many students, especially upperclassmen, are currently in a period of intense focus, attempting to finish up strongly in the classroom as the fall semester concludes. With grades being their highest priority, a great number of students simply feel as if they don’t have the time to commit to researching and educating themselves about the candidates running, or the policies they bring along. For other students, uncertainty and a lack of voting experience are the main deterring factors.

“I understand the significance of voting and know how the election of certain officials affect the communities that we live in for better or worse. Still with that being said, my focus on the 2022 elections has been down to a minimum. With so many things going on this semester, my mind has been centered around school and work and hasn’t pondered on anything else,” Adrian Murray, graduating senior at Florida A&M University, said.

Aside from a lack of time contributing to low motivation levels in students regarding the elections, some students (mostly Black students), based on incidents of the past, have little to no trust in the U.S government system. Conflict surrounding police brutality, abortion laws, and food insecurities add to this divide. In past elections, certain ballots were misplaced, and in some cases, polls didn’t have the number of ballots necessary to supply to voters. Due to these issues of trust, some students are left feeling like their vote doesn’t matter and have lost hope for their voices to be heard.

“I think voting in elections are very important because of how many people who were denied the right to, along the way. However, it’s hard to have faith in a system that was created for you to fail. Over the last few years, I feel as though the Black community specifically have been cheated out of their votes. Each year it seems like our government does everything in their power to take more of our rights away,” Florida A&M SJGC student, Cilicia Anderson said.

Above anything else, college students heavily affect each election season. According to EducationData.org, in 2020, there were over 18 million students enrolled in colleges in the United States. With such a large population, student participation or the lack thereof, can crucially impact the turnout of this year’s midterm election. With Nov 8 rapidly approaching, college students and their involvement will play an important role in the results of the 2022 midterm election.