GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. — Young adults are historically criticized for not voting, and according to the United States Census Bureau, 18- to 29-year-olds have the lowest voter turnout. In the 2016 Presidential Election, only 46% of young adults voted, but in Colorado the same cannot be said since according to a study by Tufts University in Massachusetts, Colorado has the second highest voter turnout among 18- to 29-year-olds in comparison to other states.
Therefore, as the November 3rd election quickly approaches, the age-old question “why don’t young people vote?” starts to be asked. And typically this question sends a message that students don’t care about politics since they do not vote, but a Colorado Mesa University Political Science professor, Justin Gollob, says this is not necessarily the case, and at CMU he notices, as well as other students, that the Mavericks are actively supporting both political parties.
Most CMU students will also be politically active this year by voting on November 3rd. Yet, there are still young adults who won’t for a number of reasons. One reason, as Gollob says, can be the sheer amount of things on college students plates, and therefore, voting gets lost in the shuffle.
Still, studies show Colorado has some of the highest voting rates among people under 30, and that political participation is most likely the result of the Colorado Votes Act, which extended voting hours and added mail ballot drop boxes. In fact, there is a drop box at CMU’s campus, so Angel Bautista, CMU’s Student Body President, says, “I think the university did that to enable students to fill out the ballot in their dorm when they get it and then just walk 10 feet to drop it off.” Bautista also thinks the drop box will encourage more CMU students to vote in a month. Further, those ballots will be mailed to Coloradans on October 9th, and the status on their ballot can be tracked on govotecolorado.gov.
In addition, the Colorado Votes Act added in person polling on college campuses. There will be one on CMU’s campus that will open on November 2nd.
Thus, with the easily accessible options for voting in the state, many people are positive there will be plenty of political participation from young adults in this general election.