radio television newspaper

The Flyer

Low voter turnout amoung Lewis students expected on Election Day

Olivia Ward

Co-News Editor

Infographic created by Andrea Jauregui According to a recent poll of 300 Lewis students, 27 percent of students will not be exercising their right to vote in the upcoming election. Political science professor Dr. Steven Nawara explained that this figure did not surprise him and is typical of recent elections. “In 2008, the typical turnout of 18 to 24-year-olds was a little bit under 50 percent,” Nawara said. “So if 27 percent are saying that they’re not voting, that’s pretty good.” Nawara explained that people of all age groups report higher voting rates when surveyed. He expects lower voting rates due to dissatisfaction with both major party candidates. “I think we’re probably going to see a little lower voter turnout than we did in 2008 or 2012,” Nawara said. “There’s noticeably less enthusiasm than there was in those two elections. That’s across both parties, particularly among republicans, in my opinion.” Republicans have steadily withdrawn their support for Donald Trump after recent allegations of sexual assault have come to the forefront of his campaign. “There’s a sizeable segment of the Republican party that is not supporting Donald Trump,” Nawara said. “Some of those people will not end up showing up to vote because they don’t like Trump.” Libertarian Gary Johnson and Independent Evan McMullin are gaining the support of conservative voters who do not endorse Trump. “A lot of people who are voting for Gary Johnson or McMullin are often disaffected Republicans who, for some reason, do not believe they can support Donald Trump,” Nawara said. “There’s also a segment of Democrats that don’t like Hillary Clinton. I think that’s less of a problem on the democratic side.” Voters are also concerned about Clinton’s email scandal. Both candidates have major scandals affecting their campaigns, bringing their character into question. “This has been an election based on character. There’s very few issues being discussed by either of the presidential candidates. Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have made character the focal point of this election. Hillary Clinton is saying that Donald Trump does not have the temperament to be president, that he’s not fit to be president and that he’s said things that disqualify him for the presidency. Meanwhile, Donald Trump is saying that Hillary Clinton has committed crimes and should be in prison. Those are the main messages of the two candidates,” Nawara said. Character has been an integral focus of the election and voters are showing disappointment in both candidates. “A candidate needs to show responsibility and honesty,” freshman athletic training major Joseph Solorio Arellano said. “Do either of the candidates have those? No. Good God, no.” While policy has been on the backburner, the back-and-forth debate on character has been influential on voters. “The issues of the candidates having their own email and sexual assault scandals doesn’t really hold any importance when you’re looking at what they’re going to do for the country,” senior graphic design major Alex Turner explained. “It affects their own personal lives and whether or not they’re actually fit to serve the country.” According to Nawara, students are primarily concerned with debt and student loans. These policies are the main selling points for young voters. “That’s something that both candidates have at least hinted at addressing. I think that’s one of the reasons why Bernie Sanders had such high levels of support among millennials,” Nawara said. Junior biology major Beth Przekwas explained she prefers Bernie Sanders but will not be using him as a write-in option. “I’d much rather vote for Hillary than split the vote,” Przekwas said. Splitting the vote refers to the distribution of votes among similar candidates. When voters cast their ballots for third party candidates, it often increases the chance of winning for a dissimilar candidate. Some voters, like Przekwas, will be voting for Clinton out of opposition for Trump. “I just really don’t like Trump. I don’t like anything that he stands for. I don’t think he’s a good businessman. All the scandals with sexual assaults – that is just not okay,” Przekwas said. Przekwas explained she does not support Trump’s behavior, nor his conservative outlooks on policy. According to Nawara, millennials are typically concerned with policies that affect social freedoms when compared to voters in other age groups. Solorio Arellano explained that his political concerns reflect American human rights issues. “I’m really concerned about gender equality. We all should be treated like humans. We shouldn’t treat women like they’re below men. For example, payroll is an issue. Men get paid more than women and that’s not right,” Solorio Arellano said. Because voter turnout is frequently small among millennials, candidates focus on other policies in order to attract more voters. “The differences in turnout are one of the reasons why those issues are not at the forefront of this election, because younger people vote at much lower rates than the general population. You see a lot more focus on health care because that’s what older, more reliable voters care about. You see more focus on taxes, on immigration because that’s affecting a broader segment of voters,” Nawara said. Freshman forensic criminal investigation major Itzel Villa explained that neither candidate has an agreeable immigration or deportation policy. “Not only are their immigration policies disappointing, but when they find illegal immigrants, the way that they treat them is just wrong. It just needs to be changed. It should be handled differently,” Villa said. Although Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein present alternative viewpoints on issues that have been widely ignored during the election by the major parties, their voter support has dropped. “As we get closer to election day, the support for Gary Johnson and Jill Stein has been eroding. As the election becomes more real in people’s minds, I think more people are deciding not to vote for third party candidates. That’s fairly typical in presidential elections,” Nawara said.

More from The Flyer...