Article on First-Time Voters
The following article ran in Frankfurter Allegemeine, a major German newspaper. It features first-time voters Quentin Brown'19 and Sydney Smith '18. The purpose of the article was to share with German readers the thinking of the youngest in the American electorate, first-time, newly eligible voters. Thanks to Quentin and Sydney and other students who were willing to be interviewed and to PA President Livia Christensen for translating.
"The First Time"
BY DANIEL C. SCHMIDT , WASHINGTON
The future belongs to them: in the midterm elections in the United States, tens of millions will vote on Tuesday. What do young people think about the political situation in the country? Two first-time voters share their thoughts.
It's Friday night, four days before the midterms. Eighteen-year-old Quentin Brown says something that really should make every politician in the United States listen up: "I can generally imagine voting for either side, but under these circumstances, it seems unlikely that I will vote Republican."
Quentin lives with his parents in Silver Spring, Maryland. He goes to a private high school in the neighboring town, next year he plans to go to university. He won't start his homework today. There will be enough time over the weekend. He tells us that he received his paper ballots a few days ago. But he has not yet looked into who exactly is on the ballot in his local district. Too much homework. School has priority over politics.
Congressional Elections grab young people's interest more than ever before
Quentin will most definitely be voting on Tuesday. At his school, he even encouraged a few friends to do the same. "Some people asked me why this election is so important," he says when asked if he talks to friends about politics. "Others wanted to know if I will vote. I explained to a few of them who currently holds the majority in Congress."
In a July poll, only 28 percent of eligible Americans aged 18 to 29 were "absolutely certain" that they would vote on November 6. New numbers have been released this past weekend that suggest that young voters are more interested in the midterms than they've ever been: in some states, you can do early voting, and in Texas, for example, already 332,000 teenagers between the age of 18 and 29 voted, five times more than at the 2014 Midterms. In Nevada, the numbers were also exceeded by five times compared to the past Midterms.
Sydney Smith also did early voting. The 18-year-old started studying at Brown University, one of America's oldest universities, a few weeks ago. Like Quentin, she is registered in Maryland where her family lives. However, since she is currently at university in Rhode Island, she voted by absentee ballot - entirely for the Democratic candidates on the ballot. "That was not my intention, it just turned out that way," she says a few days before the election. "I actually voted for whoever I thought was the best candidate for office." In Maryland the governor is up for election. Sydney briefly contemplated about voting for Larry Hogan, but then voted for the opposition candidate of the Democrats. Since 1988, Maryland.
Source: SCHMIDT, VON DANIEL C. "KONGRESSWAHLEN : Das Erste Mal." Frankfurter Allgemeine, 5 Nov. 2018, 20:35, www.faz.net/aktuell/politik/trumps-praesidentschaft/kongresswahlen-usa-was-erstwaehler-ueber-die-politische-lage-denken-15874965.html.