What does voting mean to you on November 6, 2012?

Maddie Hernandez, Dana Point, wants students to exercise their right to vote (Cathy Lee Taylor)

Cathy Lee Taylor

The general sentiment of the younger population on voting in 2012 may have shifted. Four years after a stunning election where a record number of young voters came out to vote for Barack Obama, there appears to be fewer signs of hope regarding change for our country.
But they haven’t given up. “I’m sticking with Obama,” DJ Tate of Mission Viejo said. “We need to give him another term. He had a lot of good plans for us, and I want to wait and see what he can do. If we can give Bush two terms, I feel like we need to give Obama the same thing.”
  Maddie Hernandez, Dana Point is also at the booth on Saddleback campus encouraging students to register to vote. When asked why students say they don’t want to register, Hernandez said, “We hear them say ‘What’s the point?’ a lot.”
Even if some of the initial excitement and the promise of change may have worn thin, Hernandez is firm on her stance that voting is a right all students should exercise. She added, “Young people should have a voice because this country was founded on political and religious freedom.
“I think they [students] want to vote for the president, but we have to remind them that they are also voting for many propositions that are going on in their immediate surroundings.”
And yet some students remain cautious. Sen Shahriari, Mission Viejo, said, “I don’t see the point in voting. Whoever gets into office ends up carrying out the same procedures dictated by others in government. The President has little influence and ultimately there is little change that benefits the people.”
Demographics of the young vote
According to Pew Research Center in 2008, 66% of those under age 30 voted for Barack Obama making the disparity between young voters and other age groups larger than in any presidential election since exit polling began in 1972.
Young voters are racially and ethnically diverse. Just 62% of voters age 18-29 identify as white, while 18% are black and 14% Hispanic.
Women significantly outnumber men among younger voters, constituting 55% of those 18-29 and 30-44. Among voters ages 45-64, 52% are female, while 51% of voters age 65 and older are women. (see details statistics in graphic to the right.
What about 2012?
So how many voters have registered so far this year? According to the California Secretary of State, as of September 7, 2012, there are 23,780,847 eligible voters in California. Of that number, 17,259,680 are registered voters (72.58%).
You can view the breakdown of registrations by political party here.
Sue Dearing, Laguna Woods Democratic Club, feels strongly about our youth voting. She spent her day on the Saddleback Campus registering student voters and helping them find online resources.  You can vote online at http://www.sos.ca.gov/ (click on Elections and then Voter Registration), and if you need an absentee ballot, click here.
  Dearing said, “Its [voting] is your only voice. How do you think school gets paid for? Your legislature allocates funds.” Dearing wants to educate students – especially on the propositions (Prop 30 through 40). A summary of Ballot Measures for 2012 can be found here.
Are your ready to vote on Election Day – Tuesday, November 6, 2012? Find your polling place here: http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/find-polling-place.htm

DJ Tate, Mission Viejo, wants to give Obama another term (Cathy Lee Taylor)

Voter Statistics

Sen Shahriari, Mission Viejo, isn’t so sure his vote makes a difference (Cathy Lee Taylor)

Sue Dearing, Laguna Woods Democratic Club, registering Saddleback students (Cathy Lee Taylor)

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