Many young people often say that they want their voices heard. And while it is true that younger people can be looked down upon and not listened to in our society, a large portion of them do not take advantage of one of the most important ways to make sure that their voices are heard. They are not making sure that what they think is being represented.
Voting is such an important way to communicate what we want. Unfortunately many young people are passing up their right to take part in the democratic process. With the primaries going on now and the election coming this fall, it is as important as ever for the younger generations to do what they can to buck this trend and cast their votes.
According to the United States Census Bureau, there was a 35.6 percent voter turnout for ages 18-29 in the 2018 midterm election. This was an increase from years past, but this group still fell behind other age groups in regards to voter turnout. People ages 65 and above had the highest percentage of voters cast their ballots with a 66.1 percent turnout. Young Americans need to close that gap in order to make sure their views and beliefs are properly heard.
This is not to say that young people do not have reasons to not vote. There are certainly obstacles for young adults when it comes to voting. They are many times still in school or working, which could make it hard to get out to the polls. Many have families as well. As people get older and begin to retire, it can be easier to actually go cast a vote as opposed to their younger counterparts. But despite the various things that get in the way, it is important for young people to ensure that they still have their say.
In addition to the traditional obstacles, there is now another monumental barrier that could come between people and the ballots. The spread of COVID-19 has now made it a big risk for large groups of people to gather. Even if people want to vote, they could be putting themselves in danger by doing so in-person.
No matter what could be the thing holding a young person back from voting in-person, there is still a way to vote. Mail-in ballots can be requested, as well as absentee ballots if someone meets the requirements for one. Everyone’s lives are busy, but these make it much easier to still cast a ballot.
Young people definitely have opinions on politics and hold views on who should have certain powers. Now it is time to make sure that those count in the elections. This election, and future elections as well, must be the start of a new tradition of young people making sure that their voices are heard.
The younger generations are the future of this country. It’s time for them to make sure they have a say in what that future looks like.
Need more information to vote? Check out the non-partisan VOTE411.org.