Many young people aren’t voting in the presidential elections. The number of young voters has dropped consistently since the election in 1964. Back then, around 50 percent of young people voted. In the 2012 election, that number was 38 percent. There are over 83 million millennials in the United States, and because so many of them don’t vote, it is evident that this is a problem that needs to be fixed. We need more young people voting.
Why are so few young people voting?
Much of the reason can be blamed by ignorance on political issues. People are less likely to vote if they don't have knowledge about relevant candidates or politics. The fact that they aren’t voting because of little information they have is not surprising, but needs to change.
The age people can vote is also the age they typically go off to college. When they are new to their college campus in a new city, it’s likely they don’t know where to vote or how to register. Over a fifth of young people in 2008 said they didn’t register to vote because they missed the deadline.
Another reason young people aren’t voting is because they simply think their votes don’t matter. They feel their generation is ignored by politicians, so they don’t see the point of voting anyway. However, a big reason politicians tend to ignore the younger generation is because the younger generation doesn’t make up a significant portion of who is voting.
Why are young voters important?
When more and more young people vote, the more likely it is that their voices will be heard by politicians. Young adults make up over a fifth of the population of eligible voters, but there is just not enough of them voting to make politicians care about issues that affect them. Politicians not only care about how many people are voting for them, but for who is voting for them. If more young people vote, they will stop being ignored by those who make laws regarding young adult issues such as student debt, for example.
Also, voting can become a habit. If people start partaking in the voting process when they’re young, it’s more likely they will continue to vote as they get older. These young people will be older one day and they will become the next generation of voters.
Votes from young people can also have an impact on who gets elected. If enough young people are voting, they will get the sway of the vote. States such as North Carolina, New Hampshire, and Virginia all have high turnout rates with young voters, and other states need to follow. It’s also very likely that President Obama won the 2008 election because of his popularity with young voters in various key states.
How do we get more young people to vote?
Since many young people don’t vote because they don’t know how or where to, one of the best things to do is give them that information. They will obviously be more likely to vote if they know the process. Many are also ignorant on political issues, so ensuring they have access to information regarding candidates and issues is a must. The most effective method of reaching out to them is through social media. With platforms like Facebook and Twitter taking over the internet, it’s easier than ever to spread information about these things to friends, family, and further. Let young people know that their votes count, that their voices matter. Young people have voices; they just need to use them.