Editorial: Student disappointed with voting experience

Nov. 4, 2014

Column by Alexandria Zamecnik

The statistics say, “I won’t vote,” because I’m a 20-year-old. During the 2012 Presidential Election, 38 percent of people from the age of 18 to 24 voted compared to that of the 63.4 percent from people of the age 45 to 64, according to the Census Bureau.

Although statistics may claim I have no voting record, I do.  I’ve voted since I turned 18 and I plan on doing it the rest of my life. In the measly two years I have had to fulfill my civic duties, I’ve taken advantage of every opportunity I’ve been given, including local elections.

Do those two years matter? I think so. My two years of voting gives me the right to say when I’ve had a bad experience voting, which I did on Nov. 4, 2014.

As I walked in to the University Center at UW-Whitewater to vote, I was beyond excited. This day is the Superbowl for Political Scientists.  It’s the one day where I feel I can make a difference in local, state and national government.

My feelings quickly changed when I walked into the polling location. Before being directed to my polling ward, there was two minutes of confusion to see if I was even in the correct place. I knew I was. I registered early to vote.

Column by Alexandria Zamecnik  News Editor
Column by Alexandria Zamecnik
News Editor

After finally being pushed in the correct direction, I told another poll worker my name and address. The worker said I was in the wrong place. Again, I knew I wasn’t. The workers looked at me as if I was a “stupid college student who couldn’t figure out my left foot from my right foot.”

She told me I would need to register again. I was seconds away from leaving frustrated.

After flipping through registration books, they found my name, out of order I might add. They murmured about how they found students names in the back, students who they had earlier turned away.

Even though it was simple mistake, those poll workers turned away students who had taken the time to register early. They said those students would need to register again.  The City of Whitewater should have jumped through hoops to make sure registration books were not inaccurate.

When the poll workers realized the books were incorrect, they offered no apologies for the scornful and judgmental looks which they had just given me two minutes earlier.

I took my ballot, cast my votes and left, less enthused than when I walked in.

All in all, those students, which you treated poorly at the polls, will be the future of America. We will be leaders, businessmen and women, artists and politicians. But most importantly, we will be your neighbors, so treat us that way.

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