Do Young People Care About Voting?
In 2020, local and national elections are being held around the country and many of us are thinking about the political process. Despite historic gains in voter turn for young adults, we continue to hear stereotypes about young people’s political apathy.
We asked young people around the country to share their views on the political process and if voting was important. Even for those who aren’t 18 and therefore can’t vote, their opinions are heartfelt and contradicts the perception that young people aren’t engaged in the political process.
Below are their words.
During the 2016 general and 2018 midterm elections, I was unable to vote. This was pretty frustrating as I wanted to be able to participate and potentially make a change within our civic system, especially on the specific policies that I feel passionate about. I’m very excited to be able to vote this year and to finally be able to have that experience, in fact, I’ve already sent in my ballot for the primary!
My family and I gained American citizenship two years ago, and that is definitely one of the reasons why voting is so important to me. For 10 years I watched my parents be politically active yet still not have the opportunity to vote for what they believe in. Now that I’m an American citizen and of age, I really appreciate that I am able to voice my opinions in the government when a lot of people can’t.
– Lara, 17
I’m voting this year because I remember being a kid and wanting so desperately to have a say in the world around me. I think our political climate has made Americans very cynical, but I still want to remind myself and others around me that voting is one of the best ways an individual can create change.
-Sara, turning 18
I am voting because many people around the world don’t have that right and I am fortunate enough to live in a country where we have the freedom to vote. I want to make sure I use my right to vote to create change and express my opinion.
Voting gives me a vessel to represent what I think is morally just, not only for myself, but for my greater community. It is a privilege that I will not take for granted.
In the upcoming elections, people are emotionally charged when it comes to supporting a candidate. Though I cannot vote, I believe it is more important to support a candidate whose policies align with your own values rather than supporting the person you just think will win. Our Democracy is not able to function unless each vote is cast to reflect that person’s beliefs.
I am voting this year, and every year in the future, because democracy only works when those who can participate do participate. I also recognize that not everyone has the right to vote, so voting is my most important civic duty.
I am not old enough to be able to vote during this years’ elections, but I am still showing up to be politically active and stand up against hatred and injustice.
I care about voting because every vote counts, and I want to have a say in the leadership and policies that represent me and the country I live in. Voting is one of the simplest yet most effective ways that I can give a voice to issues that need to be heard.
Filling out a ballot for the first time was a thrill! Voting is something we need to do more of as the younger generation because the issues on ballots pertain to us much more than they do for adults and it’s sad that so many people waste this opportunity.