Why Students Choose Tuition Over Voting

In a recent survey of 3,000 New York University students, 20 percent said they would exchange their right to vote in the 2008 presidential election for an iPod Touch, and half of the students polled said they would give up their voting rights forever for $1 million. But most interestingly, an astonishing 66 percent said they would relinquish 2008 voting rights in exchange for a whole year’s worth of college tuition.
The poll, which was conducted by a ‘Foundations of Journalism’ class, presented the survey to undergraduates between Oct. 24 and 26 to examine the students’ perspectives toward voting. Surprisingly, 90 percent of those who said they would trade their right to vote for money believed voting was still ‘very important’ or ‘somewhat important,’ while only 10 percent considered voting ‘not important.’
On a forum on Politico.com, several individuals expressed that this lack of student dedication to voting was ‘damning to our Republic’ and that NYU students were ‘a bunch of morons.’ However, looking at these results as representative of our generation, there are legitimate reasons as to why turning over our right to vote just once might actually be reasonable.
Many University of California students come from middle-class families