The Importance of Voting in Our Generation
Updated: Apr 6
We all know how important voting is - it’s our fundamental right as citizens to vote and contribute to democracy! Unfortunately, many young people don’t vote because they don't think it's important. Let’s discuss the importance of voting, especially for younger generations.
Who is Considered Young?
Let's start by clearing up who is considered to be young. Political analysts generally say that “young people” are 18 to 29-year-olds, but sometimes 18 to 24-year-olds. Basically the people born between 1982-2000, or millennials and Gen Z-ers. Some are in college, some working and some in high school.
Young Voters Background
The 26th amendment lowered the voting age to 18 back in 1972. “We will gain a group of enthusiastic, sensitive, idealistic and vigorous new voters,” Senator Edward M. Kennedy said at the time. He was clearly wrong. The voter turnout rate for young people has always been very low and is behind any other age group. The Midterm elections have been disappointing for young voter turnout. In 2014, less than 20 percent of young people voted, the lowest rate ever. In 2016, only 19 percent of young people voted in the presidential election.
Why Young People Don't Vote
The registration process to vote can be time-consuming and a bit difficult, especially for the first time. There are barriers that affect young people, like lack of proof of identity, lack of transportation, trouble locating polling locations, etc. Another reason is that many people are not informed about politics, which makes them not want to vote. Nearly 20 percent of young people say they don’t have enough knowledge in order to make a decision on who to vote for. Younger generations have not been encouraged to vote until recently by candidates, campaigns, family, friends and neighbors. Some may not be interested, some don’t like the candidates, and some may not believe voting effectively changes society. Ultimately, young people don’t believe their votes matter or make a difference, but they do.
Why Young People Need To Vote
Youth voters make up half of the voting population, making them a powerful voting force. Every. Vote. Counts. Young voters are incredibly diverse, and our beliefs could truly influence and change the system for the better! We CAN sway the election. Young people have even been credited as the decisive vote in 2012 with President Barack Obama’s second term, winning 67 percent of the youth vote. Many young people believe that their vote does not matter, but this is our future! Whether it be the policies or economy, it ALL effects us.
We must encourage younger generations to vote and make it a priority for them. We have the ability to make a change for our future and future generations! If you aren't registered to vote for the upcoming election, do it ASAP! We can make a change together.
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