Has Democracy Died? Student Government Voter Turnout Decreases From 5 Students to 2
Graphic by Ava Cruz / The Daily Pennsylvanian
October 8, 2020 at 1:27 am
With the recent loss of RBG and the quite frankly appalling debate on Tuesday, many are left wondering: has democracy died? Despite recent events, I had held out held hope that perhaps democracy still existed somewhere in the dark and distant corners of the world. That hope died as soon as I heard the news of the latest political tragedy: the decrease in voter turnout for Penn student government elections.
The numbers are now official and -- let me tell you -- it's bleak. With a loss of 60% of voter turnout, this year only 2 individuals voted in the student government election, pennies in comparison to last year's record-high turnout of 5 students.
"I guess there wasn't enough publicity about the polls," opined one student government representative, fearful that the low result was actually caused by the fact that no one cares about student government. Despite having all online ballots and numerous emails sent to the student body, this year's numbers still plummeted, sporting the worst turnout since the Great Depression.
We interviewed non-voting members of the student body in hopes of solving the mystery of why only two people voted in this year's student government election. We started our investigation by examining the inbox of sophomore Eric Wall. Mysteriously, all emails from the Undergraduate Assembly and Class Boards had been marked as spam. Even more curious was that Eric's inbox was not the only one to identify student government emails as spam.
In a recent poll about why they didn't vote, 22% of students responded that "all communications marked as spam." Of the remaining students, 52% responded that "I don't care about student government," and 26% responded, "we have a student government?"
At present, sources are still looking into the cause of the voter turnout decline as it is still something of a mystery to us all. Until further notice, the Princeton student government will be blamed.