Morgan Votes: MSU Students Seemingly Uninterested in Casting ’14 Ballots

By Emily Pelland, Richard Good, Brittany Robinson, Melanie Dobbs and Wyman Jones

 

The perceived lack of involvement from Morgan State University students in the upcoming midterm elections reflects the overall sentiment in the country.

Max Hilaire, chair of the university’s political science department, said “Why you see the apathy on campus is just because, you see, people are not directly connected to the political process.”

“When half the population [of Morgan] has no connection to Maryland, it doesn’t matter what outcome is. You’re not going to see a change in the attitude.”

Few campus organizations attempted to mobilize an uninterested student body to register to vote. The Delta Sigma Theta and Alpha Kappa Alpha sororities held voter drives on campus two weeks ago.

Student Janet Conteh registered to vote at the Delta Sigma Theta table, but did not know for whom she will vote.

Student Kayla Johnson, who registered to vote in high school, said, “I don’t know the candidates at all. The only candidate I know is Anthony Brown.”

Despite persuading only 14 students to register in four hours over two days, Genice Ward of Alpha Kappa Alpha said, “the table was successful. We were able to get people to register to vote early. “

Meanwhile, Hilaire criticized the American political process itself for lower turnouts, citing tighter voting restrictions and the idea that many citizens can’t take miss work on the first Tuesday of November every two years.

“We are not making it easy for people to vote,” said Hilaire.

As a result, Hilaire said, young people who observe the process come away disenchanted with how things work. They weigh the cost of traveling home and missing classes to vote and do not see the greater benefit.

“Like all young people from previous generations,” Hilaire said, “they just don’t see the political process being able to deliver immediate things that matter.”

And they’re not alone, Hilaire said.

“It’s not just students but that vast majority are disengaged from the political process. It’s a reflection of the alienation in itself of the political process,” said Hilaire. “People just don’t see a material change in the outcome of the elections in their everyday lives.”

Hilaire said, “The only way to change the system is to be a part of it.”

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