Young Voices, Big Choices
Vote, a formal indication of a choice between two or more candidates or courses of action, expressed typically through a ballot or a show of hands or by voice.
Choice, an act of selecting or making a decision when faced with two or more possibilities.
Voter Registration Statistics Data
- Total number of Americans eligible to vote – 218,959,000
- Total number of Americans registered to vote – 146,311,000
- Total number of Americans who voted in the 2012 Presidential election – 126,144,000
- Percent of Americans who voted in the 2012 Presidential election – 57.5 %
Voting is one of the most important civic opportunities given to citizens of the United States. In recent elections, much attention has been focused on the number of young people actually utilizing their voice. Traditionally in American elections, young people have always been ridiculed for their consistently low levels of political participation, but a small change began to surface over the years in a positive direction.
The table above shows that the younger population of voters indeed has the smallest participation level, in comparison to any other age group. “Why not?” is the million dollar question. Why won’t young people exercise their God given right to voice their opinion and make life effecting choices? Well there’s several things to blame, the first being ignorance. Many young people are uninformed, they don’t have a clue what their vote means and would even know where to begin. On the other hand, many young people refuse to go to the polls because of a lack of trust in the political process. Considering where a decade’s worth of political maneuvering has left this lost generation, who can blame them? On the outside looking in presidential elections have become more of a popularity contest, or circus act, “not an honorable thing to do” according to Harvard
Universities research department. Young people also maintain very busy schedules, and move around a lot, making it nearly impossible for campaigns to track down. About half of young voters do not identify with any of the major political parties, and in turn their issues are largely ignored. The self-perpetuating hopelessness felt by many young voters is plainly showcased by their refusal to vote. The key reason as to why millennials don’t vote, is because politics doesn’t serve their interests. The reason politics doesn’t serve their interests is because they don’t vote. Below is a link to a video of a few college students explaining exactly how they feel about voting.
The simplest solution would be to form some sort of group, or non profit, that empowers young people to come together and effect change in the political process. I know of government professors that give extra credit for simply bringing in your voters registration card to class. Inform them! Give young people information to let them know that their voice will be heard and their ballot will make a difference.
Bureau, U.S. Census. “Statistic Brain.” Statistic Brain. Voting and Registration, 26 Aug. 2015. Web. 14 May 2016.
Bureau, U.s. Census. “Young-Adult Voting.” Young-Adult Voting: An Analysis of Presidential Elections, 1964-2012 (n.d.): n. pag. 1 Apr. 2014. Web. 14 May 2016.
Montenegro, Robert. “Why Young People Don’t Vote: Part Apathy, Part Frustration, Part Ignorance.” Big Think. Big Think, 20 Oct. 2014. Web. 14 May 2016.
Brennan, Collin. “Why College Students Aren’t Voting (and Why It Matters).” USA TODAY College. Florida Atlantic University, 25 Sept. 2015. Web. 14 May 2016.
US, The Conversation. “How Can Universities Encourage Young People to Vote?” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 9 Mar. 2016. Web. 14 May 2016.