Fewer younger voters expected to cast ballots

Posted at: 11/04/2012 8:58 PM
Updated at: 11/04/2012 10:21 PM
By: Adam Camp, KOB Eyewitness News 4

One third of Bernalillo County has already voted in the general election through early or absentee voting. But there was a Harvard study that showed 15 percent fewer young eligible voters (18-29 years old) will vote this year than in 2008.

KOB Eyewitness News 4 checked out UNM to see if there were any young people who planned on not voting this year.

Sabrina Delamarter was quick to give her reason why.

"It's just I feel like I probably should have paid more attention if I voted. Because if I vote now, I don't feel comfortable choosing which one," she said.

There are two days before the general election deadline, but some eligible voters feel that's not enough time to gather an opinion. 

"I just really feel like it's not. I'll vote for, like, the next election, but I won't vote for this one," she said.

Another student said he did not feel like his vote really matters.

"We need to reform the whole system. I don't think that it's working for anybody, really, except for the heads of these big corporations," Bryan Baldizan said.

He is currently studying political science at UNM. He said many of his peers pressure him to vote.

"They get kinda shocked, like, 'Why wouldn't you vote?', but I mean, if you do look at it, both candidates represent a similar agenda," he said.

In the 2000 presidential election, Al Gore was defeated by George W. Bush, even though Gore won the popular vote for the country.

Baldizan said the current electoral college system fails this country.

"It's a democracy. It's a disgrace if the popular vote loses, it's like a slap in the face to people," he said.

One older student at UNM reacted to the two students who would not vote this year.

"Barack Obama doesn't think like that. Mitt Romney doesn't think like that. The Kennedy's didn't think like that. A vote is important," Victor Smith said.

The first election Smith voted in was for former President Bill Clinton in 1992. But he said he has noticed a trend over the years about voting.

"Yes, I have met more people since that time that don't believe in voting, especially from the younger generation. I think, like, wow, you make the difference," Smith said.

Baldizan and Delamarter will not vote this year, but thousands of other New Mexicans can starting on Tuesday at 7:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. in Bernalillo County, along with hundreds of other voting centers in New Mexico.