Lack of young voters in city of Sarasota has some concerned

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Posted: Tuesday, April 2, 2013 12:14 pm | Updated: 9:19 pm, Tue May 28, 2013.

SARASOTA - A lack of young voters in Sarasota has some community leaders concerned.

“Where the Votes Are” is an event that the SRQ Media Group hosts after each city election. On Tuesday, the group reviewed the March 12th city election, but the results were disturbing.

Right after elections, the SRQ Media Group does a precinct by precinct analysis of the election. The results from March's city elections showed a lack of young voters, despite several groups best efforts to bring them in.

Voter turnout for municipal elections is always on the low side with only about 15 percent of registered voters actually casting their votes. But out of the 6,000 or so registered city voters, less than 200 under the age of 30 voted.

To make matters worse, Jacob Ogles, senior editor with the SRQ Media Group, says the city had more voters come out for the march 12th election who were over the age of 90 than who were younger than 30. “I think people, particularly with local government, aren't as aware of how local government affects their lives, while they're still young professionals, while they're still working and maybe their lives are focused on other matters. There's also a lack of a sense of responsibility among the younger voters to actually get out and vote.”

In the meantime, SRQ Media Group says local young professional organizations will keep up with their efforts to encourage younger residents to vote. The next Sarasota city election is in May.

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Welcome to the discussion.


  • kat7 posted at 1:59 pm on Wed, Apr 3, 2013.

    kat7 Posts: 2

    what is the timing for posts to be reviewed? 1:59

  • kat7 posted at 10:44 am on Wed, Apr 3, 2013.

    kat7 Posts: 2

    Of the 6,130 who voted in this primary only 144 voters under age 30 participated. The exact figures are more graphic—practically the amount rounded off in this article—is the number of young voters who showed up at the polls. This disinterest was not the case when I was that age, we were much more involved—and still are. It is best that those who vote have paid attention to the issues and learned about the candidates. So until young voters start participating in the nuts and bolts of the community, I am not concerned about their failure to vote. In fact, the great noise now heard from those who want only to increase partying (as their major concern) shows a frightening lack of understanding of the real issues facing the community. I am even more concerned about candidates who cater to such shallow concerns!

  • Wendy Beth Namack posted at 4:05 pm on Tue, Apr 2, 2013.

    Wendy Beth Namack Posts: 1

    Unfortunately, this is not an isolated phenomenon. Using data provided by the Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections office, the North Port Advocacy Alliance, Inc is beginning some studies of voter participation records for North Port since 2008. The preliminary review suggests that fewer younger voters participate in all elections, though they do turn out in large numbers for the national elections. There appears to be a correlation in that younger working-age residents are not voting in primary elections at a local or national level. NPAA, Inc looks forward to releasing the final report upon its completion.

  • Happy Fat Kid posted at 1:27 pm on Tue, Apr 2, 2013.

    Happy Fat Kid Posts: 1

    The real question is why young people are not voting? Not one candidate cares what we think or will listen to us because we don't raise funds to help these candidates get elected. Most of cant afford pay our bills every month but look at what these commissioners raise to get on a city or county seat. Plus special interests have more say in policy then anyone of us regular citizens have. Look at all the Sunshine Law violations that our tax funds pay for, so these elected officials can hide what they are really doing and the public has no idea. Look at the Main Street re-do, why? There is nothing wrong with it now, if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's a duck, stop telling us its a Golden Goose'.


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