Students Enthusiastic, But Will They Vote? (Vol. 50, Issue 2)
In a city where voter registration is below fifty percent and where the majority of people view politics with apathy, Yeshiva students offer a comforting contrast. According to a recent Commentator poll, seventy nine percent of the Yeshiva students eligible to vote are registered and eighty percent consider themselves knowledgeable about the important issues in the upcoming presidential election.
When asked which issues they considered of primary importance most students responded that relations with Israel and the economy were foremost on their list. Separation of Church and state and the threat of nuclear war were also found to be pressing issues.
The student poll revealed that sixty four percent of those questioned supported President Reagan. Although none of the students were asked to explain their voting preference, Mondale supporters were quick to cite what they felt were shortcomings in the President's policies towards Israel. A number of students explained that their intention to vote for Mondale stemmed from a dislike of the present administration rather than an enthusiasm for Mondale. Two percent of those polled said that they were dissatisfied with both Presidential candidates and would not vote.
Despite the interest and enthusiasm towards the election, many students will be unable to vote. The college has scheduled regular sessions for election day and according to sixty five percent of the students polled the classes will present a major hinderance to their voting. Many students expected the University to cancel the afternoon classes. They explained that the free afternoon would allow those registered in the metropolitan area to attend shiur in the morning and return to their voting districts in the afternoon. The University feels, however, that students should apply for absentee ballots which would enable them to both vote and attend classes. Hopefully students will expend the minimal effort necessary to obtain an absentee ballot and exercise their privilege to vote.