EVALUATION OF STUDENTS’ OPINION ON THEIR INVOLVEMENT IN THE ELECTORAL PROCESS IN KOSOVO
Keywords:voter turnout, elections, electoral process, Kosovo, involvement of voters, legitimacy, absenteeism
The study explores the possibilities of increasing the involvement of young voters in the electoral process. It assesses the involvement of youth in the electoral process based on the responses of students majoring in Political Science and Jurisprudence in Kosovo. In-depth interviews were conducted as it is believed that the students in these areas are novice experts in the field of political science and jurisprudence. The research was conducted at UBT College is based in Prishtina, where students from different municipalities attain their higher education. It helps in identifying general trends in the country. The total number of students in each course is 80, every second student took part in the in-depth interview. As a part of the study, it is required to confirm whether the demographic characteristics of respondents influence their participation in elections. The results of the study showed that majority of the respondents were females, in the age group of 18-24 years, currently living in Pristina and are studying at the university. In Kosovo there is a high involvement of youth in the elections (57.5%), students participating in elections strive to change the future of their country (34.8%). However, it is possible to increase voters’ turnout among youth by increasing their interest in elections (23.6%), aligning party programs and candidates with the political interests of the voters (17.5%), and by considering the reasons why the voter cannot come to the polling station on the election day (11.8%). Conclusions: The results indicate high electoral activity among youth. In view of the findings, there is an opportunity to increase the involvement of young voters in the electoral process, and to increase voters’ turnout rate among young people in Kosovo. The results of the study in Kosovo are compared with the results of a similar research in Russia. It is believed that in Kosovo youth participation in elections is seen as an opportunity to influence political decisions, bring changes in the political course of the country. The study also concludes that participation in elections is influenced by demographic characteristics of the respondents. It is identified that in future, no successful party can afford to neglect the category of young and female voters.
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