COMMENTARY: Wondering why the 18-25 age group isn’t voting

Hunter Stevens

When it comes to “getting things done,” I can’t really say that our generation is the best one for the job.

That being said, it is no wonder that the Commonwealth of Kentucky is predicting one of the lowest voter turnouts in history this upcoming Nov. 8. 

Despite the fact that this election will determine the state’s new governor, as well as several other state officials including attorney general, secretary of state and treasurer — there are predictions that only 25 percent of registered voters will turn out to the polls. 

To me, this is particularly surprising due to the condition of the economy.

Usually in the instance of a recession, Americans are angered into action, and the most immediate form of action is at the poll box. 

Political education and involvement is imperative for the success of a democratic form of government; high school civics classes and college campuses have been attempting to drive home this point for the past decade.

However, it seems to be going in one ear and out the other as fewer and fewer individuals register to vote when they turn 18, and should they happen to register, they fail to cast their vote when the time comes. 

I can’t pinpoint the exact reason, but I’d hazard a guess that it falls somewhere between apathy and plain old fashioned laziness. 

According to the Secretary of State’s office, Kentucky has more than 2.9 million registered voters and the traditional turnout level is made up of those individuals that are aged 40 and older.

My peer group, those who are 18-25 are rarely seen bombarding the polls. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard someone around WKU’s campus say, “I honestly just don’t care,” when it comes to politics and candidate elections. 

You don’t have to be a political science major to take a little interest in the future of your state or country. If nothing else, you should realize that as a college student, these members of state and federal government are the ones setting tuition rates for the public universities that you attend. 

Every time that you receive a loan or grant, they had some hand in the matter. 

Yes, I realize that you’re probably going to pass over this commentary for the same reason that you pass over the campaign ads and CNN, FOX or MSNBC — because you have better things to do with your time. Better things like watching “Jersey Shore” or “Teen Mom.” And perhaps I seem overly critical, and maybe a tad harsh toward my fellow 18-25 year olds, but something’s got to give. 

College is a time to put off adulthood while you can, right? Go celebrate our youth and lives free from responsibility.

But maybe this Tuesday we could celebrate by putting forth a little effort.

I’m not going to tell you who to vote for, though I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t put in a plug for my good old GOP, I’m just going to ask that you go. 

Pull a lever, push a button, and get that spiffy “I voted” sticker as a memento. 

One more thing: Williams and Farmer for Governor and Lt. Governor, Todd P’Pool for Attorney General, Bill Johnson for Secretary of State, KC Crosbie for Treasurer, John Kemper for Auditor, and  Jamie Comer for Agriculture Commissioner. 

I just couldn’t help myself.

Hunter Stevens

Greensburg senior

This commentary doesn’t necessarily represent the views of the Herald or the university.