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Archive for Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Students likely to skip voting

April 3, 2007

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Amanda Mayhew, 23, Lawrence, receives instructions on filling out her advance voting ballot from voting clerk Marilyn Neuenswander at the Douglas County Courthouse. Mayhew, a student at Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, Calif., voted Monday while home for spring break.

Amanda Mayhew, 23, Lawrence, receives instructions on filling out her advance voting ballot from voting clerk Marilyn Neuenswander at the Douglas County Courthouse. Mayhew, a student at Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, Calif., voted Monday while home for spring break.

High turnout not likely for Lawrence's youngest eligible voters

During the February Primary Election, only 14 voters showed up in Precinct 10, which includes most of the KU residence halls. That's pretty typical for that part of campus which had a 4% turnout in 2003, and a 17% turnout in the 2005 local election. Enlarge video

Kansas University has a strong presence in Lawrence with its nearly 30,000 students, but their presence lags on election days.

Burge Union is the voting place for Precinct 10, which covers much of campus, including most of the residence halls, and it has one of the lowest voter turnout rates in the city.

"In the primary, I think we had about 14 people come out of Precinct 10," Douglas County Clerk Jamie Shew said.

In today's election, he said, "we'll probably see about 100 people."

The phenomenon extends beyond the campus boundaries.

Turnout in the five precincts with the highest percentage of registered voters between 18 and 24 years old typically falls well below the countywide average in local city and school board elections.

In 2005, the countywide turnout was 38.5 percent, but less than 23 percent of voters turned out near campus. Two years earlier, 13 percent voted near campus, compared with 33 percent turnout overall.

"I don't think they connect why they should vote," Shew said. "The second thing is the parties are really good during the presidential and governor's elections to really work the campuses and get out the vote, and I don't know if on local campaigns they do that as much."

Students informally surveyed on campus this week generally didn't know there was a city election today - or they didn't care.

"I haven't really thought about it," said Garrett Flippin, a KU freshman. "It's not on the top of my priority list."

Brandy Entsminger, another KU freshman, agreed: "I think students are more interested in on-campus elections. They feel the issues are more important to them."

Comments

bjayhawk 7 years, 3 months ago

Who you calling a part time resident? :) I've been here for 4 years...yet I still have to pay out of state tuition. Getting to vote is the least the state of Kansas can do...

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altarego 7 years, 3 months ago

I'll wager that bjhawk is more informed and has better grasp on the issues than most of the posters on these boards. And registered voters are just that - registered voters. Do you want residency enforcers at the polls? You don't think turnout is low enough in this town?

consumer1, why do you hate America?

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Wilbur_Nether 7 years, 3 months ago

"I am outraged that part time residents can vote...." "So you will vote for someone who you don't know anything about, you will vote your political affiliation, not knowing or caring who wins, what they will do to Lawrence after you graduate and leave. Great !! Four years wow!! I guess that is a long time for a college student. So, where are you moving to after you determine city policy for us who remain for the next 4 years???"

It's a little too early in the morning for righteous indignation....

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prioress 7 years, 3 months ago

You get what you (don't) vote for; once again, 10% or so of the population will chart the course of our futures, in Lawrence and many other towns.

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Eileen Emmi Jones 7 years, 3 months ago

It's too bad students won't vote, because only three candidates have come out for:

minimum wage increase affordable housing in new developments

HIGHBERGER SCHAUNER MAYNARD-MOODY

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altarego 7 years, 3 months ago

minimum wage increase = unemployed students and empty storefronts

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Confrontation 7 years, 3 months ago

"Posted by tony88 (anonymous) on April 3, 2007 at 7:55 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I am outraged that anybody but I can vote in any elections."

---That was great! I just had to repost it :)

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