Young voters are one of the most important aspects of American politics. They are our future. They have a power and voice that can shift ideologies and change how the government operates.
However, many states claim that voter turnout amongst the youth is lower than it has been in years, along with several studies showing a lack of motivation and apathy. Is it because younger generations face adversities, including lack of same-day registration, basic civics education, voter suppression in rural, poor, and black communities, and work/extracurricular schedule flexibility to get to the polls?
While young voters have always invested in politics and government, especially in the age of easily accessible media, with all the adversities, some may wonder why bother. Yet, there are so many reasons, and now, more than ever, it is time for young voters to get to the polls. As a young voter, we have a voice. We have opinions and mindsets we can use to help others. Our votes make up for over half of the voter population. In a study done by CIRCLE (Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement), they found that during the 2016 election, the turnout of young voters was at 50 percent.
The youth of America is incredibly diverse, with voices that grow stronger each day. We have an advantage in creating a shift in the elections. We have a higher chance of seeing the change that we want to see for our future. There is power in numbers, and that power can be taken straight to the voting polls.
The United States is full of people from different cultures and aspects of life, and their voices should be heard. During the 2018 midterm elections, Pew Research Center found, “voter turnout rates for whites (57.5 percent) and blacks (51.4 percent) increased by 11.7 and 10.8 percentage points, respectively […] Hispanic and Asian each saw their turnout rates increase to about 40 percent.”
Along with our youth voters, we can bring these voices together and shift the balance.
Our voices are there, we can, and we shall be heard.
Currently, people are voting for the nominee to represent their party for the presidential election coming up in November.
In Ohio, citizens will be able to vote for their nominee on March 17. The registration date has passed, but you can still register online at https://olvr.ohiosos.gov/. If you have already registered, you can use that same website’s voter toolkit at https://www.ohiosos.gov/elections/voters/toolkit/ to check your registration and find your local polling station.
We are America’s future. Now is the time for us to step up to the table and vote for the change we want in our country.
Brianne M. DeLong is a high school senior, graduating class of 2020, attending Edison State Community College part-time and a student in the Upper Valley Career Center Veterinary Science program.