Low Voter Turnout

By: Whitney Ray Email
By: Whitney Ray Email

Tallahassee, FL -

For weeks leading up to the election FSU Sophomore Lizzie Solonari approached students and asked them to vote.

Lizzie is a member of FSU Public Interest Research Group. The organization helped increase young voter participation on campus but statewide students just didn’t vote.

“Right now people just aren’t aware of what’s going on,” said Lizzie.

The apathy toward voting carries an extra sting for Lizzie. She’s not a citizen and won’t be able to vote until she’s naturalized.

“It’s pretty frustrating. I feel like I don't contribute a lot to society,” said Lizzie.

But it wasn’t just students staying home on Election Day. Just 48 percent of Florida’s registered voters cast ballots. That’s par for mid-term elections in the US, but when compared to elections in other industrialized nations it’s low. Voter turnout in countries like Italy Greece and Denmark is in the mid 80’s.

And with such a low voter turnout some candidates were able to win office with less than one in four voters casting a ballot in their favor.”

Leon County Supervisor of Elections Ion Sancho says some politicians try to keep voters away from the polls, and they often use negative ads to build frustration.

“Negative advertising does create the image in people’s minds that there’s no one worthy to vote for,” said Sancho.

Carley Sattler voted, but many of her friends just weren’t interested.

“A lot of students weren’t even aware that there were elections,” said Carley.

In 2008 college students and blacks stormed the ballot box giving Democrats Congress and the White House. This year the Tea Party was more motivated, at for now they’re siding with Republicans.

For a county by county breakdown of voter turnout: http://enight.elections.myflorida.com/CountyStatusPage.aspx


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  • by Chris Location: Norcross on Nov 10, 2010 at 08:59 PM
    For your information, Lizzie is not an illegal immigrant. she is one of the many people who are stuck in the middle of our absolutely lousy immigration laws. How do I know this? I am Chris Norcross, chapter chair of FLPIRG at FSU and Lizzie is one of the students at FSU working to help students know and understand thier rights. We managed to increase youth voter turnout by 32% at FSU! We are not stepping down we are still fighting for students interests in this world we all share and that shouldnt stop anyone, not even students who move here from other countries from trying to celebrate and share what we all love about America.
  • by MJM on Nov 9, 2010 at 09:10 AM
    If you don't take the time to research the candidates and vote, then don't complain about how things go in our country.
  • by Anonymous on Nov 9, 2010 at 08:01 AM
    Did anybody else catch that Lizzie is an illegal immigrant? And she's upset she cant vote. GET LEGAL. How in the world is she attending FSU. Let me guess...she's on financial aid and my tax dollars are paying for this ILLEGAL immigrant to get an education. LOVE LOVE LOVE AMERICA!
  • by Denise on Nov 9, 2010 at 06:50 AM
    "alot of the students weren't aware there was an election"...thats not suprising at all. I bet they know who's on American Idol, what snookie is doing or X-box's newest release. Pete..#2 is correct, its what happened in 2008.
  • by Bob Location: Jasper on Nov 9, 2010 at 05:53 AM
    In the last election I had to hold my nose to vote as all the candidates stunk so bad. A purported thief or a socialist for governor? Big choice, from what they said either will hurt Florida more then help it. The people won't vote when all the players are lousy but no one with an ounce of decency ran, for almost any office. Until we get statesmen and women running instead of hacks there will be no choice for the people other then the least offensive!
  • by DEC on Nov 9, 2010 at 05:14 AM
    You do not have to vote for everyone. You do not HAVE to vote for lesser of two evils. Leave it blank. I do. I vote issues and not parties. No matter the party if I do not agree with their stances no vote from me. But I do go to vote.
  • by NO EXCUSE NOT TO VOTE Location: CVILLE/TALLY on Nov 9, 2010 at 04:58 AM
    THOSE THAT DID NOT VOTE HAD BETTER NOT OPEN THEIR MOUTHES AND COMPLAIN TO ME ABOUT ANYTHING THAT GOES ON OR HAPPENS THAT EFFECT THEM. THERE REALLY IS NO EXCUSE TO NOT GET OUT AND VOTE FOR WHOM YOU THINK IS THE MOST QUALIFIED CANDIDATE. PEOPLE, WAKE UP, GET YOUR LAZY BUTTS OFF THE SOFA, AND VOTE. NOW LOOK WHAT IDIOT WE HAVE AS OUR GOVERNOR. I BET YOU STATE WORKERS (LIKE MYSELF) WILL WISH THEY VOTED WHEN DUMMY STARTS SWINGING THE AXE AT US.....JUST NO EXCUSE PEOPLE.
  • by Mary Ann Location: Tallahassee on Nov 9, 2010 at 04:49 AM
    Perhaps if they put an option on the ballot that says I don't like anyone more people would vote? I don't believe in voting for the lesser of two evils or voting party lines or race or whatever methods others vote for when they really don't like either of the candidates. I wonder if you got 100% turn out and no one voted for those on the ballot what would happen???
  • by Pete Zahut on Nov 9, 2010 at 04:35 AM
    Two problems with democracy are: 1) apathy on the part of voters who lead a good life, based on the suffering of others; 2) the vote of an idiot counts the same as the vote of an informed person. Tie driver's licenses to voting and you'll get more voters (no vote=no license) but note #2 above ....
  • by Jack Location: Tallahassee on Nov 9, 2010 at 03:41 AM
    What's new about this?
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