College students seek to break the trend of voter apathy

WICHITA, Kansas – The effort to get voters to the polls in less than two weeks is ramping up.

As candidates make a final push to secure the votes, other groups are pushing registered voters show up on Election Day.

Political experts said most of the big races are projected to be very close, meaning a get out the vote effort is vital for both parties and voters between the ages of 18 and 34 could help sway the election either way, if they get to the polls.

Wichita State Freshman Levi Iseman’s job with Americans for Prosperity involves visiting registered voters who haven’t been to polls in awhile.

“I can hit around 120 to 220 households a day,” said Iseman.

He insists he is not encouraging voters to pick a side.

“We’re trying to a feel on the publics’ psyche on whether or not there’s going to be a good turnout for voting this coming election or if there’s some bad attitudes and we’d like to talk to them and encourage them to vote,” said Isleman.

The 18-year-old is among a population segment that traditionally has a low voter turnout. In the race for US Senate, Greg Orman is speaking to a classroom at Friends University about getting out to vote.

“I didn’t realize how much of an issue it was that not a lot of us are voting so if we want things to change then we have to be the ones to step up and vote,” said Estrella Medina, student at Friends University.

Getting voters to the polls is a message both candidates are pushing as the election nears.

“If you believe, let’s say an age group really does support your campaign, turning that group out is crucial and we know this election will be close ad all of those efforts can make a difference,” said Medina.

At Wichita State, 20-year-old Clayton Dir said negative campaigning turns off a lot of younger voters.

“The voting that we do right now is going to effect for many years to come and it’s hard to see that right now and I know I should get more involved and learn and see but if we don’t elect leaders to lead us to a better future we’re kind of hurting ourselves,” said Dir.

And while young voters have long been accused of apathy when it comes to politics, Iseman is trying to break the mold.

“The future is something that we need to take hold of ourselves a generation and not just sit back and let other people solve our problems,” said Iselman.

Early voting is of course underway beginning today, and according to Sedgwick County Election officials that if early returns are any indication, voter turnout should be strong.

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