With less than two months until the election, one Michigan State University student says he plans to vote, but a lack of pressure and motivation have stopped him from going through the registration process.
Blake Isaacs, a 21-year-old James Madison College senior majoring in political theory and constitutional democracy from Farmington Hills, Mich., says he’ll probably register to vote in the coming weeks.
“Getting off the couch to ensure I’m registered is something I plan on doing,” said Isaacs. “But still, in reality, if I don’t vote, it isn’t going to make a difference. Now, if everyone has that mindset, that’s a problem.”
Working his way through school by maintaining Newby Teas of London’s online store and MSU Hillel, Isaacs says time and motivation are what have stopped him from ever registering.
“Life catches up with you. I’m a full-time student with a part-time job working 20 hours a week,” said Isaacs. “I go to social activities, hang out with friends and my girlfriend takes up a lot of my time. I have 15 reminders in my phone that should have been done three months ago. Getting registered to vote is just not at the top of my list yet.”
Isaacs says he believes that online voter registration would help students like him get involved in the democratic process. Isaacs described being captivated by Bernie Sanders earlier this year because of Sanders’ liberal social views and his disdain for political machines.
Despite his enthusiasm, Isaacs missed the registration deadline to vote in the Michigan primary. If Sanders had gotten the Democratic nomination instead of Clinton, Isaacs said he thinks he’d be registered by now.
“Bernie mobilized people and raised them up and got us going,” Isaacs said. “I still plan on registering, but Bernie would have been someone where I would have said ‘Okay, I gotta’ get registered to vote for this guy.’”
Even if he doesn’t feel energized by Clinton or Trump, Isaacs insists his familiarity with the how the government works will push him to vote this November.
“Being in a major that focuses on the structure of government, I think I know more than most people,” said Isaacs. “I know my representatives in my local government in all three of the branches are just as important as who we elect as president. I also know the promises a president makes are irrelevant and wastes people’s’ time.”
Isaacs said that as someone who’s Jewish, it’s important to him that candidates support Israel and socially liberal values. Although he prefers some of Hillary Clinton’s stances, primarily her strong support of Israel, Isaacs said he isn’t keen on Clinton but he’ll take her over Trump.
“I just can’t vote for someone if they aren’t pro-Israel or don’t believe in gay marriage,” he said. “I didn’t take Trump seriously from the get-go when he bashed Mexicans and Muslims and the handicapped reporter and I was done with him. He wasn’t authentic from the start.”
Despite all of Trump’s statements, Isaacs said his opposition to the businessman turned politician didn’t motivate him to register. Isaacs said that even if Trump said something anti-Semitic, he wouldn’t have felt the pressure to get registered sooner.
“I’m at the 99.999 percent that I’m not voting for Donald Trump,” said Isaacs. “He’s said enough things that being anti-Israel would just be another tally on the ‘no’ list.”
Even though he didn’t know Michigan’s Oct. 11 voter registration deadline, Isaacs said he believes there will be enough outreach in the coming weeks that he’ll be registered in time for the election later this fall.
“This election is so much more than just differing views,” said Isaacs. “I see the Democratic Party making a large push to get young people registered to vote for Hillary.”