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Some young Yuma County residents say they're apathetic about voting

Non voters
iStockphoto.com

By Chris McDaniel
KAWC News

Registered voters had the right to cast a ballot at the polls during Tuesday’s primary, but some young voters chose not to.

I spoke to two eligible voters at a polling facility in Yuma County just before lunch on Tuesday. One was registered to vote, while the other could, but had not. They were both highly cynical about the voting process and of politicians.

Yazmin Gonzalez, 23, of Yuma, and a registered voter, was planning on casting her ballot later in the afternoon. She said she was not familiar with the politicians in the race, nor the issues they championed.

“If I'm being honest, I don't really like look that stuff up," Gonzalez said. "I kind of just like ask my dad 'cause I trust and like how he thinks and I think very similar to how he thinks, but I guess that's not necessarily a good thing 'cause I mean he's not always going to be here to like do that for me and I should have formed my own opinion."

"I shouldn't be biased," she continued. "I do know that. And I guess at this time I haven't really like taken the time to feel like my vote really will like matter if I do so. In some cases I kind of just like don't really care. Even though I am registered.”

Gonzalez said for 20-somethings, there are often other concerns in life that take precedence over voting. Especially because she does not trust the narratives politicians push.

“I feel like when you're young, you don't really think about those things and, I don't know, I've never really felt like I necessarily took that as such an importance like what they're standing for, and I feel like in most cases at times where I have voted politicians don't really do what they say they're going to do," she said.

"They just say things just for the votes," Gonzalez continued. "And then when the time comes. They don't really live up to their promises. So for me, I think the day I feel like it doesn't really matter. I don't want to say this, but I'm gonna say it's like a scam."

"I guess I feel like politicians are just there for the money," she said. "And they want people to donate and all those things that's just help. That's why I don't really listen to it.”

Ernie Garza, 22, of Yuma, is eligible to vote, but has not yet registered. This would have been his first time voting. He said he doesn’t feel his vote would mean anything.

"Honestly, I also think that's one of the reasons why I don't vote, because I feel like it's a scam," Garza said. "It's just whoever has more power or more popularity."

Garza said he does intend to vote in future elections, once he learns more about political issues facing his generation and all Americans.