Though he is currently conducting a high-profile campaign for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, businessman Vivek Ramaswamy has recently been revealed as an “unaffiliated” voter in his home state of Ohio, as NBC News reports.
Ramaswamy's status – unusual for someone seeking the GOP nod in the next election cycle – is the result of his failure to vote in a Republican primary recently enough to be considered affiliated with the party.
The multimillionaire Ramaswamy has been registered to vote – in Franklin County, Ohio since late 2021, but his voting record in the state prior to that is now proving somewhat problematic as he seeks to become the Republican Party's standard bearer.
Reportedly having characterized his college years as those of a “libertarian freestyler,” Ramaswamy's past has not been marked by regular visits to the polls, as Reuters noted.
Ramaswamy has indicated that he cast a ballot for a Libertarian candidate in the presidential election of 2004, but failed to vote in the 2008, 2012, or 2016 contests.
From there, however, the 2024 GOP hopeful said that he was transformed into a “hardcore” supporter of then-President Donald Trump, voting for his reelection bid in 2020.
As NBC News noted, to receive formal party affiliation in Ohio, voters must ask for a given party's ballot in a primary election.
A social media handle known as Ohio Legislative Watch posted voting records for Ramaswamy indicating that he did not cast a ballot in statewide primaries last year.
Furthermore, there appeared to be “no history recorded” for the candidate related to primaries held in Ohio just a few months ago.
With that said, Ramaswamy does show as having voted in the Aug. 8 special election regarding the process for amending the state's constitution, and he also appears to have cast general election ballots in 2021 and 2022.
When asked earlier this month by Fox News host Sean Hannity about what some might argue was a glaring degree of electoral apathy on his part over the years, Ramaswamy said, according to The Hill, “I was a jaded person in my 20s, and like so many people in their 20s, Sean, I get it. I'm not a professional politician.”
Perhaps because of his own less-than-stellar political awareness or involvement in the earlier part of his adulthood, Ramaswamy has floated the idea of raising the national voting age to 25 but offer exceptions for those over 18 who serve in the armed forces, are emergency first responders, or who have taken and passed a citizenship test.
“The United States faces a 25% recruitment deficit in the military and just 16% of Gen Z say they're proud to be American. The absence of national pride is a serious threat to our Republic's survival,” the candidate declared.
Ramaswamy also stated, “We cannot solve the absence of a desire to serve our country – or to learn about the Constitution – by forcing young people to do so. Tying civic duty to the ultimate privilege of citizenship – voting – & conferring it to young people accordingly, we have a better chance of actually restoring civic duty in America.”