Apathy, frustration with politics and too many demands on their time were among the reasons NCC students and graduates cited for why they did not vote on Tuesday.
Of 31 students canvassed by The Commuter on Election Day, 21 said they were not planning to vote.
“I don’t really care about voting because I don’t think it will solve much,” said Kimberly Nuff, a Veterinary Technician major.
NCC graduate David Yarbough said he was not voting because nothing ever changes as a result of state elections in Pennsylvania. He prefers to vote for national candidates for office.
Another non-voter agreed. “The only election I feel is necessary for me to vote in is the presidential election,” said Sean O’Reilly, a third-year Biotechnology major.
Voter turnout is low because people have either lost hope or have given up on politicians, said Criminal Justice major Nath Gonzalez, who characterized the Democratic and Republican parties as “two wolves fighting over dinner.”
Some students admitted they simply did not know enough about the candidates.
“I don’t keep up with politics enough and I don’t want to make an uninformed decision,” said Katy Beatty, a second-year Interior Design major.
Some people skip the elections because they do not think they can make a difference, said Dylan Vernan, a third-year Fine Arts major. “I think people believe their vote does not matter because they see themselves as one vote out of millions of others.”
Sometimes more mundane matters kept students away from the voting booth, which was the case for third-year General Studies major Michael Madain. “I unfortunately cannot vote because I have no way of getting transportation to where I’m registered to vote” in Allentown, he said.
Among students who said they were planning to vote was Sergio Davila, a first-year Engineering major. Not voting is a sign of “disrespect to the memory of those who have paid the ultimate price for our rights,” he said.
Voting is “our responsibility,” said Accounting major Krystina Clements, who planned to cast a ballot. “If you don’t vote, you don’t have a right to complain.”
Contributing to this story were Michael Reagle, Ramel Walsh, Tyler Mann and Mallory Lundquist, all students in NCC’s News Writing course.