A lack of votivation

Weston Hopkins, Staff Writer

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The 2020 Presidential election cycle has begun and it is going to be one of the most important elections in recent history. The country is divided and neither side is willing to compromise. We have a president who is currently in the midst of a huge scandal, nearing full-on impeachment even. And yet through my day-to-day I don’t see or hear my peers getting excited about this. In fact, most people my age can’t be bothered to care about something they deem boring. Most people are content with just bitching and moaning about our current administration actions while never taking any steps to do anything about it

What I’m trying to say is please register to vote. Especially those of us that are young, which historically is the group constantly being underrepresented. According to a Census Bureau report, “In 2018 35.6% of citizens aged 18-29 voted in the midterm elections.” If that number seems low, compare it to the turnout for the 2014 midterm elections where only, “19.9% of citizens aged 18-29 came out to vote.”

This improvement in voting is promising but we are far from close to being fully represented.  And to be fair I know being politically active can be extremely boring. Having to constantly keep yourself up-to-date on the latest scandal or mishap is taxing and time-consuming. Political jargon is a barrier to entry causing most people to not understand what is being said about a topic. But you don’t need to know everything about every issue, most people don’t. 

Find an issue that you care about and become active in that area. Use social media to your advantage and join groups that are advocating for the same issues you are.  If you don’t have a subject that you are particularly interested in, another thing you can do is take a good look at the candidates on both sides. Figure out who stands where on what issue that interests you and follow their campaign. They will tweet or post to Facebook about issues and or ways you can help. Through these means, you can become more informed and maybe even become more politically active. Ultimately having an issue to invest yourself in leads to a need to vote in order for change to occur.

It is crucial that we as United States citizens exercise our right to vote. There is literally an amendment to the Constitution guaranteeing those of us 18 and older to vote. Yet time-and-time again the youth are choosing to not only not vote, but to ignore the entire political landscape altogether. 

According to InfoPlease.com ,“4,021,726 citizens will turn 18 in 2020.” If 35.6% of these people vote that approximates to 1,431,734. In a world where technology connects us seamlessly from person-to-person and issue-to-issue why are we the youth not taking advantage of this technology when it comes to having our voices heard? Why have we not found a way to raise youth voter turnout to that of the older generations?

 According to that same Census Bureau report, “Ages 45-64 turnout at 59.5%.” To be fair being able to vote in the presidential election online would tremendously help the youth and part of me believes that is exactly why you can’t vote online yet. The people in charge don’t want the youth to help create change. We need to create change ourselves no matter the parameters. In the mean-time register to vote online if need be, just please register. Voting is the most American thing one can possibly do. The government is supposed to be held accountable by the people, but this country has lost its grip on that idea. It’s time for a change, it’s time for we the people to fulfill our roles in democracy.