County clerk's website needs to be modernized
To the Editor:
An article in the Monday edition of the Daily Chronicle stated that "Despite higher turnout for midterm elections, no hike in ages 18 to 24."
The real concern is, do people really want young voters to vote? Data from the United States Census Bureau showed that in 2016, only 43 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds voted, compared with 70.9 percent of those 65 and older. According to the DeKalb County Clerk's Office, 10 percent of this age group in DeKalb County voted in November.
Statistically, young voters participate less than older age groups in any election. Consequently, they are quickly labeled as apathetic. However, could it be because the voter registration system is outdated, and only works well for generations prior to smartphones? Have you asked a young person to take a picture and share it with family, or the world? They can easily do it with a few finger-swipes in less than a minute on their smart devices. Young people are smart and responsible like a fish when you ask them to swim and not climb trees.
Is "Generation Z" too apathetic to participate in democracy? Or is it us who make democracy unavailable to them? If you really want the smartphone generation to vote, make it accessible to them in a way that the other information is, through technology. Young people will use the Internet to discover anything they don't already know. If they want to vote, most likely, they will do a web search for DeKalb County voter registration, and the first three hits are information for the DeKalb County, Georgia. If they haven't given up by then, they will refine the keywords to DeKalb County Illinois voter registration, and the fourth hit is the DeKalb County, Illinois page, dekalbcounty.org/iwantto.html.
Scroll down and pay attention very carefully, and they might find the link for "Voter's Registration." This link opens a new tab dekalb.il.clerkserv.com. There is no information for a new voter to register to vote here. Everything is designed for people who are already registered. Things like polling place change, a link to the state board elections webpage. This research was done at 1 p.m. on Nov. 16, 2018.
I am sure if I spent more time, clicking all the links, I probably could find the information for new voter registration somewhere. But you get my point. It isn't readily available, is it?
Dr. Linh Nguyen