BY NATE ORBE – William Paterson students have different opinions on why voter turnout was only 43 percent for people age 18-24 in last year’s presidential election.
“I think that young people fail to realize the impact of politics in our lives,” said Kevin Nuñez, a junior. “Taxes, laws and policies all have an impact in our lives directly. It’s more important to our lives as some young people might think.
Voters in New Jersey go to the polls tomorrow to elect a new governor, either former Ambassador to Germany Phil Murphy (D) or Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno (R). Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
In a 2014 study Pew Research concluded that 50 percent of millennials identified their political affiliation as Independent. This research suggests that young people are gradually dismissing two-party politics.
“If I’m being honest, I don’t quite trust the government completely so it’s my choice to abstain,” said Courtney Withers, a senior. “The whole Russia investigation in the election just makes things worse for me.”
In a 2015 study Pew Research found that only 19 percent of Americans said they could trust the government to do what is right. This is a historically low level. Government trust was at an all-time high (77 percent) in 1964. Following the Watergate scandal government trust began to plummet. A small surge occurred after the 9/11 terror attacks but has since fallen.
“I was never taught about politics from an unbiased source,” said Miguel Peña. “The media I consumed was usually anti-politics but school never properly taught me about it. I think that hindered me.”
“I am registered to vote, and I do intend on voting for Murphy this Tuesday,” said Nuñez.
“I’ve never registered to vote. I never felt the need or desire to,” said Withers.
“I didn’t even know we were having an election until the debate we had on campus, Peña. “If I’m not occupied on Tuesday I’ll vote.”