As the presidential election draws nearer, not all potential voters are feeling the political fervor others may be feeling. One Michigan State University student doesn’t intend to even register to vote, given the nation’s current political discourse.
“I don’t care much for this election,” said Ryan Riger, a psychology freshman at MSU. “It’s an unfortunate crapshoot for both parties.”
Riger is an 18-year-old Bloomfield Hills native, and 2016 will mark the first presidential election he is eligible to vote for, but he remains unregistered to vote. He explains that he has no intention on changing that, if both primary candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump don’t change their current campaign paths.
“Both candidates have really strong disadvantages. Unless something drastic changes between them, I won’t change my stance either,” said Riger. “If I hear either candidate address issues I have interest in, and in a way that I actually like, I might consider it. That remains to be seen.”
Riger says that the biggest of America’s issues settle in society at large. For him, sensitivity to certain topics is to blame.
“Social justice issues, stuff regarding feminism, Black Lives Matter,” said Riger. “Those are the kind of things I’m interested in when it comes to politics, and that’s because I think people are too sensitive. For example, I think the candidates skirt around the Black Lives Matter movement, compared to other issues, because they’re afraid they’ll offend people.”
When prompted about political alternatives to Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, Riger expressed that he’s had friends suggest some, but none that he could recall the names of. Prominent third party candidates this election include Gary Johnson, who represents the Libertarian Party and Jill Stein, who represents the Green Party.
“I haven’t heard much about third party candidates around [this election],” said Riger. “It’s not that I’m not interested in them, I just haven’t gotten around to looking up candidates that don’t show up in news or conversation as often.”
Riger says that he had been approached by student volunteers at the Brody Hall cafeteria at MSU before about voter registration, but politely declined. He said he doesn’t think the voter registration process is daunting, but admits that he doesn’t know the most about it and doesn’t have much experience.
“It really leads back to the start,” said Riger. “I don’t know too much about the registration process itself because I don’t intend on registering, and on top of that, it’s because I don’t intend on voting.”
Riger says his right to abstain is just as important as his right to vote.
“Yeah, who becomes the president next is important” said Riger. “There’s a reason everyone makes a big deal of it, but I’m just not one of those people.”