Tuesday marks the last day to register to vote across the nation. This is an especially significant date for young people, many of whom were too young to vote in the 2008 elections and others who changed their state of residence recently.
Numbers for voter registration for young people are still lower than 2008 levels. Less than 50 percent of eligible young people are registered to vote and only 63 percent say they plan to vote this year. Both of these numbers are more than ten percentage points lower than they were in 2008, according to Pew research center.
The numbers point especially to a dissatisfaction and disillusionment with President Barack Obama, who rallied the youth in droves to the election booths in 2008. But it also seems like it stems from a general misunderstanding of the importance of the 2012 elections.
While there might not be rumors and excitement about a change in the world order that surrounded Obama’s campaign, there are still a whole lot of things at stake in November, here are our top three for young people:
Supreme Court – Whoever wins in November will be able to appoint at least one and maybe as many as three new Supreme Court justices. What does that mean? If Obama wins office through 2016, we could see a Supreme Court with a heavily liberal majority that may not be overturned for decades.
College Affordability – If Obama wins re-election, good luck seeing a break-through in college affordability. More money will be poured into federal grants and regulation which will just continue to drive up the cost of education even more. You and your younger friends maybe be faced with a collegeless future if things keep going the way they are going.
Jobs and Economic Growth – Young people still get the short end of the stick on the jobs front. Unemployment among young people is at 22.8 percent and has been completely unaffected by Obama’s latest jobs report. Depending on how you vote in November, your chances of getting a job when you graduate are on the line.
So don’t be fooled by the lack of flashy campaign talking and points and the status-quo-feeling.
You do have a chance to make history, so get out and register by tomorrow.