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Kuntz: Every group needs to vote

BY KATIE KUNTZ | OCTOBER 25, 2012 6:30 AM

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In the last couple of days, the Gallup and ABC polls show that this presidential election, with only 12 days left, is closer than ever.

Despite these recent polls, according to a recent study by the Pew Research Center, many young voters feel less likely to vote in this election than they were four years ago.

However, the youth vote could very well be the deciding factor in this election again. In the same way that active, enthusiastic young people helped to win the election for then-Sen. Barack Obama in 2008, voter apathy just as well may lose the election for the president this year.

“The race seems so close that if any group decides not to vote, than that means that someone is not going to get that vote,” said University of Iowa political-science Associate Professor Tim Hagle. “And in this state, only a couple thousand of votes could decide the election.”

According to a study by the Harvard Institute of Politics, young people still trust Obama. However, young voters who consider themselves more likely to vote are often likely to support Mitt Romney.

“The College Republicans are very active as well,” Hagle said. “One of the things I’ve noticed this year is that younger voters are concerned about the economy even more so in the past, especially the debt and deficit.”

Of course, the deficit is not the only issue that affects voters. The future of education, immigration, and energy are also very important to all groups.

Despite these contested beliefs, a lack of interest still spreads among many young voters.

Neglecting to vote could have as much effect as deciding to vote. If either candidate is destined to be the next president of the United States, then let it be because young people, students like us, went to the polls and elected him — not because they didn’t vote at all.

“It is your civic duty, and you have to take responsibility,” Hagle said. “In many other countries, people die for the right to vote, and we should not take this right for granted.”


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