Let’s Show the Voting Booth Some Love

College Students Have the Power to Impact Their Local Communities on April 4

Student should register by March 8 to vote in this upcoming election!

Adriana Paez, Staff Writer

  Local elections are coming up on April 4 across the Kansas City metro area, but most young voters, ages 18-29, will not be casting a ballot.

  “People wonder why there’s this disparity in terms of so much more money spent on older folks,” said Steve Kraske, UMKC professor of journalism and a former political columnist for The Kansas City Star. “I think one of the answers is just that older folks vote, and politicians pay attention to and cater to that.” 

  Young people have always voted at lower rates than older adults, according to the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement.   

  This trend could be changing. Last November, young voters showed up with a 27% turnout rate, the second-highest youth turnout in a midterm election in almost three decades.

  National elections generate the highest voter turnout across the country, but it is often the state and local elections that affect people’s day-to-day lives.

Sagi Rudnick is an example of students making change through civic engagement

  This April, young Missouri voters can have a big impact on their local communities, but they must register by March 8 to cast a ballot. Previously registered voters who have changed their name or moved since the last election should update their voter registration.

  The Associated Students of the University of Missouri is UMKC’s student lobbying organization and supports a variety of programs on campus to increase student awareness and involvement in the legislative process.

  “Students are passionate and have a desire to make the world a better place, but are often not too knowledgeable in the area of civic engagement,” said Sagi Rudnick, president of ASUM.

  The League of Women Voters KC is visiting UMKC to register, educate and mobilize eligible student voters. They are hosting several candidate forums in March for the local city council and school board races. These events allow voters to hear directly from candidates and ask the questions they care about. Voters can find more information on the League’s national website vote411.org.

  According to CIRCLE, in 2022 young voters cited multiple barriers to both registering and voting, including forgetting, being too busy and not thinking it was important. 

  With organizations like ASUM and the League engaging young voters on and off campus, UMKC students can show up on April 4 informed and empowered to impact their local communities with their vote.

  For more information on Kansas City area elections, visit the Kansas City Board of Election Commissioners by clicking here.

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