Voter Turn Out Was Low For Millennials...Again

Voter Turn Out Was Low For Millennials...Again

The 2018 Illinois Primaries had a low young voter turn out, but why?
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Did you know that there was an election for Illinois on March 20th? Did you vote? Chances are, this will be a no for you as only 31% of Illinois population of eligible voters turned out for the 2019 Midterm primaries. Of course that statistic varies in age group with older adults between the ages of 54-74 turning out at 42% while Millennials, ages 35-20, turned out at only 3% according to an article by CBS This might seem frustrating to those who are politically active. It might seem like citizens are not jazzed about politics as much as they should be. It seems lazy. How hard is it to just go out and vote? Politics affect you on the day to day, and it’s especially important now in today’s political climate if you’re left wing because we have a Republicans in the house, senate and the White House causing all kinds of chaos!

The thing is, it’s not that simple. It’s not because young voters are too lazy or too engrossed into things that are so trivial like what to binge on Netflix or the coolest fidget spinner tricks. This isn’t true. In general, voting average for Midterms is always very low because it’s not advertised as important. It’s the off year. News channels talk endlessly about the general elections and make a huge specticle. But Midterms and Midterm Primaries aren’t reported endlessly because they aren’t seen as interesting news stories. Voting turnout is always low. In the midterm election in 2014, it had been the lowest it had ever been since World War Two at 36.4% nationwide according to Huffington Post. While this voting drop is extreme, it’s not necessarily new. In 2008, voter turnout had been 57.8% of the voting population, but the following midterm had a drop to 35.9% according to Pew Research. But again for Obama’s re-election in 2012, it jumped back up to 53.7. In 2016, the voter turnout was 60%.

The interesting thing is in this recent election in Illinois, the voter turnout was historically high for Democrat voters with 1.3 million Illinois voters casting a Democratic Ballot while only 700,000 casted a Republican ballot according to ABCs news story on the election. As it has been in previous offseason elections, there tends to be a really low democratic vote and that tends to cost them. In the 2014 election, the Democrats lost several important seats in the house and senate which lead to a gridlock between parties. This loss led to the crisis with the Affordable Care Act which led to the Government Shut Down, as well as a stop to a lot of bills the Obama Administration tried to pass because the Republicans wanted to work against everything Obama tried to put on the table.

This year, I expect that we will find a higher Democratic turn out because they realize just how important all this is. When they had the Obama Administration they felt sort of safe. Unfortunately, we aren’t really taught how much of an impact midterms can be and primaries can be. Personally, I don’t remember being taught in highschool about the importance of Midterm elections. We mostly covered the general election and spent a couple class periods explaining what the heck is an electoral college. And if we did learn about it, that was just completely forgotten about just like Algebra.

Older voters have been doing this thing for a while. They understand the voting process now and understand when elections are and what they are usually for. If you’re young like me, it’s very difficult to even find information on the election itself including who is even going to be on the ballot. If you work more than one job, where will you find time to vote? What if you are in college and live in a dorm? You can’t vote in the state you are dorming in because you’re technically not a legal resident. And young voters don’t have stability in their lives yet. They most likely moved that year or changed their name or their job and figuring out how to register or where to vote takes a lot of planning that some people don’t have time for. And then the final issue: some people have absolutely no idea that there’s an election. My roommate had absolutely no idea that there was an election today and it completely flew under his radar. The same thing almost happened to me because I only knew about the exact date because I saw a random flier on the campus of my significant others school. I saw nothing on any social media except maybe a few friends who posted about early voting. Nothing reminding me to “go vote.” And if you think that’s unnecessary, in the 2016 election they did that and there was a high voters turnout for young voters because they reached out on social media.

The thing is, we have a problem. It is very important that we get the young vote out because we make up so much of the population. There are more millennials now than there are baby boomers and the millennials are the most diverse generation with a high amount of people of color than white people which is a big deal if you want to vote for someone who represents your communities needs. The midterms in November are a big deal. If there are enough votes, there is a chance that we can flip the senate and take out the republican seats. We need to take back the senate so that Democrats can have a voice and fight against the Trump administration. I hope that people will be just as adamant about getting voters to the polls as they were in 2016 because this election matters.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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I'm The Girl Who'd Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

You raise your protest picket signs and I’ll raise my white picket fence.
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Social Media feeds are constantly filled with quotes on women's rights, protests with mobs of women, and an array of cleverly worded picket signs.

Good for them, standing up for their beliefs and opinions. Will I be joining my tight-knit family of the same gender?

Nope, no thank you.

Don't get me wrong, I am not going to be oblivious to my history and the advancements that women have fought to achieve. I am aware that the strides made by many women before me have provided us with voting rights, a voice, equality, and equal pay in the workforce.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Who Would Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

For that, I am deeply thankful. But at this day in age, I know more female managers in the workforce than male. I know more women in business than men. I know more female students in STEM programs than male students. So what’s with all the hype? We are girl bosses, we can run the world, we don’t need to fight the system anymore.

Please stop.

Because it is insulting to the rest of us girls who are okay with being homemakers, wives, or stay-at-home moms. It's dividing our sisterhood, and it needs to stop.

All these protests and strong statements make us feel like now we HAVE to obtain a power position in our career. It's our rightful duty to our sisters. And if we do not, we are a disappointment to the gender and it makes us look weak.

Weak to the point where I feel ashamed to say to a friend “I want to be a stay at home mom someday.” Then have them look at me like I must have been brain-washed by a man because that can be the only explanation. I'm tired of feeling belittled for being a traditionalist.

Why?

Because why should I feel bad for wanting to create a comfortable home for my future family, cooking for my husband, being a soccer mom, keeping my house tidy? Because honestly, I cannot wait.

I will have no problem taking my future husband’s last name, and following his lead.

The Bible appoints men to be the head of a family, and for wives to submit to their husbands. (This can be interpreted in so many ways, so don't get your panties in a bunch at the word “submit”). God specifically made women to be gentle and caring, and we should not be afraid to embrace that. God created men to be leaders with the strength to carry the weight of a family.

However, in no way does this mean that the roles cannot be flipped. If you want to take on the responsibility, by all means, you go girl. But for me personally? I'm sensitive, I cry during horror movies, I'm afraid of basements and dark rooms. I, in no way, am strong enough to take on the tasks that men have been appointed to. And I'm okay with that.

So please, let me look forward to baking cookies for bake sales and driving a mom car.

And I'll support you in your endeavors and climb to the top of the corporate ladder. It doesn't matter what side you are on as long as we support each other, because we all need some girl power.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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The Government Shutdown Is Impacting More People Than You Think

The longest government shutdown in U.S. history is affecting the lives of hundreds of thousands of federal workers.

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January 16th, 2019 marks the 26th day of the United States government shut down. Not only are 800,000 federal workers and contract workers are going without pay, but their families are struggling too. January 21st marked the first missed paycheck for these workers, and many of them do not have enough savings to tide them over. Military members are also not being paid for the first time ever in U.S. history. According to the New York Times, a typical federal worker has missed $5,000 in pay from the shutdown so far. This money is used for mortgages, medical bills, house expenses and simply putting food on the table.

This is a bigger deal than just missing paychecks, though. This means that people are not going into work because the offices are closed. For example, employees of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) returned to work on Tuesday without pay. The employees were called back to work as the beginning of tax season approaches. The Food and Drug Administration has also been affected leaving about forty percent of its staff furloughed. Without the FDA up and running with full power, how will food be deemed safe? Under their original shutdown plan, most routine food-safety inspections were stopped. These are essential institutions that are unable to operate at full power and are unable to assist the American people with the issues they cover.

Federal agencies, their employees, and the families are facing hardship because of this government shutdown. The part that worries most Americans is that there is no foreseeable end in sight. If you know someone who is impacted by this shutdown, reach out and offer as much help as you can. Offer to assist them in contacting the correct agencies to find help and be there for them during this hard time.

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