Daniella De Luna
An informal survey at the University of La Verne main campus revealed that 17 out of 20 students plan on voting in next month’s midterm elections, although most of them are unfamiliar with this year’s ballot measures.
The election Nov. 6 will give registered voters the chance to determine legislation, elect state leaders and choose congressional representatives.
Although a majority of students expressed interest in voting next month, three said they do not plan on participating. Two of the three students said they are ineligible to vote because they are not California residents.
“I’m not [voting],” said Mohammed Al Ansari, an international studies major. “I’m from Qatar, so I can’t.”
The third student who will not be voting is not registered.
“I think registering is really important,” said Ramiro Flores, a senior business and political science major. “Those who don’t show a kind of apathy.”
Flores was the only student interviewed who was able to discuss the propositions featured on the November ballot.
“Prop. 6, Prop. 8 and Prop. 10 are the ones I am paying particular attention to,” Flores said. “Prop. 10 especially, because it affects me and my family and where we live.”
Proposition 6 will repeal a gas tax for California road repair. Proposition 8 proposes implementing regulations for how much dialysis clinics can charge patients for treatment. Proposition 10 would give local governments the power to enact rent control.
Flores said political science and history majors are more likely to be educated about elections than other majors.
“I talk about these issues with friends in classes, but I’m a poli-sci major, so that’s kind of expected,” Flores said.
Freshman biology major Brian Carson was one of many students who said time constraints have prevented them from learning about the details of the election.
“I haven’t really had the time to read about [propositions and candidates] yet,” Carson said. “It’s not publicized as much as it should be, and I don’t really have these discussions with people as much as I probably should.”
Although the 16 other students who plan on voting could not speak to specifics, they did communicate clear enthusiasm for the democratic process.
“I think it’s important, especially with a president like ours in office, to make our voices heard,” Jessica Avalos, freshman business administration major, said. “I registered as soon as I was able to because if you don’t participate, nothing will change.”
A Pew Research Center survey conducted last month revealed results consistent with student sentiments: voter enthusiasm is at a record high, with 61 percent of registered voters saying they are more eager to vote now than in past congressional elections.
The survey also reported 37 percent of voters like Avalos consider their congressional ballot as a vote against Donald Trump.
Freshman biology major Jordan Vicario said she sees the elections as an opportunity to speak for young voters, whose turnout rates in the 2016 presidential election were approximately 50 percent, according to the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement.
“There’s older people deciding legislation for us that we can’t relate to,” Vicario said. “I want to fight back and be a part of the process.”
To learn more about propositions and candidates, visit the voter information guide at voterguide.sos.ca.gov.
Danielle De Luna can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.