I believe that youth are apathetic because they are not engaged in the process. Candidates do not speak to them, they do not make them feel that the issues are important to them, and they don't engage them in ways that interest them. <br />
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I am Canadian, and so our voting process is a little different. We had a municipal election three weeks ago where we voted in a new mayor and council. The mayor that won was able to engage the youth (between 18 and 26), and in that demographic, the voter turn out this year was up by 50% over the last election three years ago. He targetted them through social media (Facebook, Twitter etc), and he engaged them through discussion of the issues, and making them feel like they were a part of the process. The other two front-runners in the mayors race, in fact, did not use social media at all. This is the first time social media was used as a campaign tool, and it proved successful for this candidate, and a change in the voter turnout for that age demographic was the largest change in all the age demographics. Social media, I believe was a huge pla<x>yer in this change in our city....quite interesting.

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A very good response, Lucid! <br />I never thought of it from the engaged-in-process perspective, but that makes total sense. In fact, I'd wager that if we put all the candidates in the context of a WOW (World of Warcraft) avatar, we'd get even more participation! <br />The important thing is to have them engaged in the process before they are the bulk of the constituency. <br />Thanks for the response.

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We can't forget the late Jack Layton, he played a big role in getting people back into voting. I am one of them. He was a great example in getting involved with the people.

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I applaud that endeavor.

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I can come up with plenty of reasons why voting is more or less pointless (For an obvious one, look at the amount of policy continuity between George Bush and Barack Obama.), namely having to do with the two party system, but I would have voted had I the chance to drive back home and do so, and did vote in the primary election. I was supposed to have been off yesterday, but the boss changed my schedule, so I had to go to class and work. I realize that I should have filled out an absentee ballot.<br />
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I still get to complain about the 434 representatives, 99 senators, 104 state reps, and 34 state representatives from outside my district, right? The candidate for governor I voted for in the primaries did win, so if he turns out to be an *******, my mistake.

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I see, degenerate. When I was in the military, I voted no matter what state (or country) I was in at the time.It's an amazing concept called the "absentee ballot," which can now be used even when you live near home.Hey, just keeping property taxes at bay is good enough reason to vote! Pointless? It would seem those who don't raise a point (at the ballot box) are the pointless ones.<br />---- And that's absolutely right....you DO get to complain about the elected officials, even outside the district. In fact, subsequent votes to reverse a decision you found wrong in retrospect is part of the continual use of voting.

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Unfortunately, it would appear that most youth are disaffected. For whatever reasons, they feel as if nothing they do matters, therefore exercising their franchise wouldn´t matter either. <br />
When I have the opportunity to vote, I do. It is an historical thing for me in addition to making my small voice heard. I think we need to talk with our children and let them realise the importance of their vote: <br />
1) It's their way of voicing their opinion about the government <br />
2) It's their way of honouring those who died and were imprisoned for giving us the right to vote<br />
We have to look at parents and how their behaviour affects their children, too. If children only hear complaints about everything and a resigned helplessness, why would they think their vote would matter.<br />
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I didn't use disaffected as unmotivated. I used it as being estranged because I do believe that they are estranged from society, as well as being rebellious against authority.<br />
By the time they're the only ones left, either there will be no system for which to vote or they will have changed just as the love and peace hippies changed to become money-grubbing, republican, conspicuous consumer capitalists.

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Thank you, RRK1. A very thoughtful answer.I can truthfully say I've never viewed the word "disaffected" as a synonym for "unmotivated." I truly like the your reasoning behind WHY youth should exercise their right to vote. But even if parental behavior is a non-motivating factor in their voting response, what happens when THEY are the only ones left to vote?<br />***** Response to response: If being rebellious is something they wish to express, why not vote someone into office they find more harmonious? Or would that be giving in to "the man?" Estranged from society? Pretty soon they will BE society, and nothing they can do about it. Small wonder our nation begins to look like a luscious fruit that's ripe for the picking...lounging in the sun.

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I can't choose between a liar and a bigger liar.

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Hmmm...SeekingEternal.<br />An even bigger liar is one who lies to himself/herself that their opinion does not matter...

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we aren't apathetic about it at all...we are disappointed in it

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Their inexperience in life tells them they are not important as an influential part of society.<br />
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They are focused on other things and aren't thinking being engaged in the process is important.<br />
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They don't think government plays an important role in their lives (like they are detatched from its influence) so they don't it matters to them.<br />
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They also don't feel that politics matters because if it did, they would be a group politicians would focus some of their attention on.<br />
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To help reinforce the feelings that they don't matter is because they vote in such low numbers that the politicians don't want to waste their time on this group that never gets out there and votes in any great numbers.

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sometimes all the candidates just suck.

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You're implying that these lazy youths actually think about it. Most of them are probably so apathetic about voting because they're all too busy having sex, drinking, partying, texting, or updating their Facebook page to even care about the future of their country.

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Do you have any proof that the older people did VOTE or are you generalising about the younger generation who you assumed did not vote <br />
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You should be more worried about why 92% did not vote elderly and younger generation<br />
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The older generation did make this mess

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Actually Ned, it was the report that only 8% of registered youth actually turned out in my state that prompted me to ask this question in the first place. But since you like facts, here is a national breakout of last time, and the report was explicit about saying it was worse in the 18-24 range in this 2010 election. In Ohio, THIS TIME, it was 8% in the 18-20 range. Oh look! The commitment goes up as age goes up? Who knew? <br /><br />18-20: 17%<br />21-24: 22%<br />25-34: 28%<br />35-44: 40%<br />45-64: 54%<br />65+ : 61%<br /><br />I read this mid-term election had about 47% overall, which is higher than any other MID-TERM election, but it was top-heavy in age, reflecting these stats from the last general election.<br />Sorry to hear you think the process is a "mess."<br />You are more than welcome to put forth a more workable system, should you be so inclined. (Call it a mess, if you will, but be willing to put forth a better solution in its absence.)

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im of age to vote and didn't <br />
but that doesn't mean im lazy and just didn't get off my *** as you say <br />
it was because i was unsure of who to vote for.

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Well, N1808, let me just respond with this:<br />Actions speak louder than words---or inaction, in this case.<br />The way to address being unsure of who to vote for is to care enough to inform yourself with the plethora of materials that are provided, long before the elections. Just answering this post shows that you care about some things. That's what voting entails---proving how you feel through a method that can mean a difference. Hey, I just heard your opinion...how about next time doing it through a voting booth?

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I only vote when I feel strongly about who should win. I voted for Hilary Clinton in 2008 and then she didn't make it. I'm just not big into politics. I know it affects us all, including me, but I have a notion in my head that everything is always going to stay the same no matter who is in office.

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That seems to be a popular misconception, flyaway...<br />But have you ever heard this quote?<br />"Bad officials are elected by good citizens who do not vote."<br />Perhaps things stay the same because people in power almost plan on the levels of non-responsive voices.<br />I believe that "notion" is every bit as dangerous to Americans as believing no one would ever come in and TAKE back a right we never expressed. Like muscles will atrophy from not using, so too can liberties be wasted away.

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I think that's a simple question, little or no skin in the game!

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Perhaps you're right, kevinfun.<br />It's all a "game" to them. Maybe we should have the voting machines hooked up to texting cell phones and give prizes out for measured responses.

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