Elementary education major on 2018 election: “I honestly have not heard about it”

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Ally Geschwind, a 19-year-old student at Macomb Community College, posing in front of a wall in her friends’ house just off of MSU’s campus. Photo Credit: Kaitlyn Kelley

Ally Geschwind is a 19-year-old student from Chesterfield, Michigan. She is currently a sophomore at Macomb Community College and studies elementary education.

Geschwind spends a lot of time at school, likes to hang out with her friends and is a cheerleading coach.

She is eligible, but not registered to vote.

Why she isn’t registered to vote

Geschwind said she never registered to vote because she doesn’t feel very connected to politics and was never fully educated on the process of registering to vote, how to fill out a ballot or what topics could be voted on.

“I guess I never just really thought about voting because I’m not really into politics,” Geschwind said. “I feel like I don’t read into it enough to vote properly educated.”

However, Geschwind would eventually like to register to vote.

“I just feel like–– I don’t know––I’m young still and I don’t really know much about it (voting),” she said.

Although Geschwind hasn’t yet voted in an election, she said there are still social issues embedded into politics that are important to her.

“Like feminism, pride rights and stuff like that. That stuff kind of interests me,” she said. “I mean, I don’t really have a say in it, I guess, but I know it’s a pretty big thing with political people. I feel like some of them are for it or some of them are against it.”

Geschwind said she feels many politicians in the U.S. care most about getting popular votes and money.

“I feel like they’re kind of overdone,” she said. “A lot of it, I feel like, is kind of like a show.”

She thinks the perspective she has regarding politics and the role it has in the U.S. has had an effect on her choice to not register to vote.

“I don’t really want to be caught up in it because I feel like you get people really––they get worked up in it,” she said. “It just doesn’t interest me to argue about it.”

Influence of the 2016 presidential election

The 2016 presidential election, primarily the results of the election, has sparked attention and have impacted young voters in the nation.

Geschwind said she feels like the most recent presidential election has also impacted her because it was the first one she could fully remember, as she was only in elementary school when Barack Obama won the 2008 presidential election.

“Now, I’m older and I can see, you know, what happens and this was kind of like the first election where people actually––people my age––actually paid attention to,” she said.

Even with all of the attention surrounding the 2016 presidential election and Donald Trump’s presidency, Geschwind said she still doesn’t know anyone her age who is registered to vote.

“I don’t know anyone who’s registered,” she said. “Like, all my friends aren’t. None of us are.”

As an elementary education major, however, Geschwind said she will soon have to keep updated and pay attention to the policies that affect school districts, education and more.

“I’ll have to pay more attention to it because some people are going to be against supporting schools or supporting public education and that’s going to be a big factor in how I vote in the future,” she said.

How education surrounding voting can be improved

Geschwind took a required government class in high school, where she learned the basics about the branches of government and the history of politics.

She said this class and others did not teach her about current political officials, issues, voting or voter registration and learning about these topics would have helped her put politics and government in perspective.

Even on her college campus, Geschwind still hasn’t found opportunities or information on how to register to vote or about the upcoming midterm elections in November.

“I honestly have not heard about it. Like, at all,” she said. “Obviously, it would be better if they had taught us how in school how to vote and how to register to vote.”