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Accuracy • Independence • Integrity

July 22, 2017   |   Ithaca, NY

Opinion

Low Student Government Association voter turnout worrisome

Less than 7 percent of eligible student population — 245 students — voted in the recent Student Government Association elections, even with the convenient ability to cast votes online.

When so few of Ithaca College’s students are voting in an election that decides their immediate futures, it raises the question of how weak involvement may be for the next presidential election.

In the 2008 presidential election there was a 49 percent turnout for the 18 to 24 age group. To even reach close to that number on campus, the SGA elections would have to draw seven times the current amount of voters.

It is encouraging that campus groups, such as IC Democrats and IC Republicans, are making efforts to register students to vote. More efforts should be taken to ensure campus elections are met with the same level of participation. To do that, SGA needs to better publicize its elections, reaching students with more methods that communicate why voting is important.

If checking a box or two online is too troublesome for students, what does that mean for how many might fill out absentee ballots or show up to the actual polls in November? Students should take advantage of online voting for SGA, because the results determine the most immediate, direct influences for change at the college.

The Ithacan can be reached at ithacan@ithaca.edu or via Twitter: @IthacanOnline