National primaries saw fewer young people than in 2008

Samantha Pietra

The presence of youth at the polls on Super Tuesday was scarce across the country with 20 percent fewer in attendance than the primary election in 2008.

Only 5 percent of people under the age of 30 went to the polls Tuesday, according to a press release from Luna Media Group, an organization focused on social issues. In 2008 President Obama had 25 percent of young voters at the polls on Super Tuesday.

In Ohio, 7 percent of youth went to cast their vote. Not many people under the age of 60 came out to vote during the day, Ann Kardos, Kent poll worker, said.

“Because it’s a primary and it’s the Republican presidential primary, that’s drawing more Republicans out than normal,” Kardos said.

The primary reason the turnout was so low was because only republican candidates were contested, according to research done by CIRCLE, Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement.

In Ohio, candidate Rick Santorum saw the most votes from young people — 37 percent of people under 30 cast their ballot for him, while only 28 percent chose Romney.

Local issues did not see high turnouts in Kent. Only 66 people voted on Issue 1, the only local issue.

Kent is primarily a democratic city which leads to a lower incentive to vote. The local officials are still a good reason to vote, Karados said.

“They might not see that that’s [voting locally] an important thing to do, even though it is,” Kardos said. “It’s very important.”

Some students were still drawn in to vote if their parents convinced them or simply because they feel responsible.

“I voted because I feel it is everyone’s responsibility to vote, that’s part of being in a democracy,” said Kelsey Dixon, junior history major.

Contact Samantha Pietra at [email protected].