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Nearly half of eligible NYU students won’t vote in midterm elections, WSN poll finds


Despite NYU Votes’ efforts to increase student turnout, many eligible students chose not to cast their ballots in the midterm election on Tuesday, November 8.

Samson Tu

File photo: A polling station at 2 Washington Square Village. (Samson Tu for WSN)

NYU student Jazmin Ulloa is one of the many students who chose not to vote in this year’s midterm elections on Tuesday, November 8th. WSN spoke with 103 eligible student voters about whether they plan to vote in the midterm elections – 27.2% said they had already voted, 26.2% were preparing to vote and 46.6% were not planning to vote at all.

“I’m just not into politics,” Ulloa said. “I’m really not aware of anything that’s going on. I don’t know who is running.”

NYU’s previous midterm elections saw low voter turnout across campus. In 2018, university administrators, faculty and students launched NYU Votes, a campaign that encourages student participation in voting by highlighting the importance of each voice through events and university communications.

NYU’s student vote has grown over the past few years, rising from 9% in 2014 to 37% in 2018. Jason Hollander, co-director of NYU Votes, said the campaign’s goal this year was to motivate even more students to vote. your voice.

“A lot of people don’t know that the results of the midterm elections and the issues at stake will affect their lives more than the presidential election,” Hollander said. “I’m hoping we’ll see 37% growth this year.”

Among students who voted or plan to vote, many cited issues such as climate change, women’s rights, the cost of living, and racial justice as their motivation to vote. Gallatin freshman Emma Schwartz voted for the first time in Utah, where the GOP controls the governorship, attorney general and state legislature.

Among the Utah Senate elections many related races which will determine the political future of the United States. The Republican incumbent is now only seven points ahead of his opponent. Analysts predicted Nationwide “red wave” in which Republicans can win several key elections — even in Democratic strongholds.

In the race for governor of New York, Republican candidate Lee Zeldin is threatening to unseat Democratic incumbent Kathy Hachul. Zeldin voted to cancel in the 2020 presidential election and supported policies championed by former President Donald Trump.

CAS sophomore Sydney Barkley said she is concerned about the future of reproductive rights in her home state of New Mexico, given the close race between incumbent Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisch, a Democrat, and challenger Mark Ranchetti.

“New Mexico has always been a super blue, so it would be absolutely crazy to take him away,” Barkley said. “It’s too close for comfort right now.”

Barkley, however, chose to vote in New York because she said it was easier than requesting and filing an absentee ballot.

CAS freshman Edgar Gracia, another New Mexico resident, also noted that the state has made it difficult to vote by mail. Under state law, Gracia would need a New Mexico license or identification, which he said was difficult to obtain from home while in college. He said the confusion and duplication of laws was overwhelming and prevented him from voting at all.

“People are trying to get me to vote,” Gracia said. “I’m not licensed in my home state and I’m not sure how mail-in ballots work. And I don’t know if I’ll be able to vote in New York.”

Some students who have already voted remain pessimistic that their vote will not affect the outcome of races in their home states. Schwartz said she hopes to see more progress on the rights of women, LGBTQ+ people and people of color in Utah. She specifically cited Dobbs v. Jackson — the Supreme Court decision that struck down federal abortion rights last June — as cause for concern.

“It’s really scary to be a young woman in that condition, especially when Dobbs just got knocked over,” Schwartz said. “I’m just doing my best to vote and hopefully make a difference.”

Contact Adriana Neme at [email protected]

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