Ed Murray: High School Courses Not Helping Voter Turnout
Wyoming Secretary of State Ed Murray says he thinks the fact that civics courses are generally not taught in school anymore is one reason that young people don't vote.
The Secretary of State is Wyoming's chief elections official, and Murray says in the last two elections in Wyoming less than 10% percent of those in the 18-24 age group voted.
He calls that number "abysmal and unacceptable" and says he wants to do everything possible to increase the number of young voters.
The secretary says he thinks the lack of civics courses in Wyoming high schools is clearly a factor in the low turnout of young voters. Murray says ''back in the day when we were in school" civics courses emphasized the importance of voting as being one of the duties of being a good citizen. He thinks the lack of those courses has caused young people to stop thinking of voting as not only a right, but an obligation.
Murray says another possible factor in the low voter turnout among the young is simply that there aren't a lot of candidates who resonate with young people enough to make them go to the trouble of voting.
He says a third possible factor is that in the age of smartphones, tablets and similar products the idea of going to a polling place, standing in line and voting for candidates seems a little outdated compared to the technology that young people use every day and are comfortable with.