Millennials disenchanted with politics, conflicted about voting

With the election drawing closer, millennial voters are struggling to find a good reason to vote.

Across campus and throughout the past week, many of the millennials interviewed said that they are going to vote this year and urged others to do so as well, while others were either not interested in politics or said felt they had no reason to be involved.

“I feel like voting for who you want shows your character,” said Tyler Austin, a 22-year-old history major.

Low voter turnout for the millennial age group is not something new, but that does not mean that they are not following the election. A mere 21.5 percent of millennials voted in the 2014 midterm election, according to a study from the Center for Information and Research for Civic Learning and Engagement.

“I think maybe 15 percent will vote,” said Professor Alexander Peshkoff, who teaches history. “I don’t see any sort of motivation to vote,” Peshkoff continued. “I don’t blame them. I think our political system is such a clown fest.”

Jake Kornfeld, a 22-year-old voter petitioner working for United Latinos and La Familia Community Center, said that between 1 and 2 percent of people he approached registered with him. “Most people will at least say ‘I’m already registered’ or ‘no thank you,’ and then probably some large percent ignore you,” Kornfeld said.

“I’ve seen a lot of racial comments about Trump basically attacking Mexicans, and I’m Mexican,” said Daniela Guillen, an 18-year-old undeclared major, who added that she probably won’t vote because she still didn’t feel compelled enough.

With recent allegations about Donald Trump’s conduct towards women and the email controversies around Hillary Clinton, it has become increasingly harder to see a clear choice between the two candidates. But there was at least one student who had a different take on the election.

“I really like Gary Johnson,” said Nathan Lomazzi, a 20-year-old majoring in history. “He speaks his mind and I like his politics. He doesn’t seem like a corrupt politician.”

“A lot of people know that a third party has no chance to win,” Lomazzi said. “It’s California. It doesn’t matter since Hillary is going to win because we’re a blue state.”

History Professor Gabriel Gorman said that he hoped most of his students would vote, but knew that there would be some who won’t because “they’re disenchanted.”

“I know that many students of this demographic were definitely more attracted to Bernie Sanders,” Professor Gorman said. “Hillary has incorporated a lot of Bernie Sanders’ ideas when it comes to making college education affordable.”

Gorman then added that if Clinton were to push harder on making higher education more affordable that she may be able to win over more millennial voters.

“Elections should be personal,” Gorman said. “And your decision on who you should vote for should be personal. It should never be based on what mommy and daddy say or what mister minister says. It should always be based on personal conviction.”