The Importance of Youth Voting

Teens D.C.

The Importance of Youth Voting

By Zavier Northrup

    I was very excited when I first found out that I will be 18 for the upcoming presidential election. It was in this moment that I realized my opinion towards our potential presidential candidates might actually matter for the first time in my short life. Since that moment, I’ve done all I can to make sure the candidate I plan on voting for is the candidate that will represent me the best. Internet developers have created online platforms that help make that decision a lot easier to make for Americans. Here is a platform that uses a political quiz to help people learn about the candidates. Once you’ve finished taking your quiz, the platform evaluates your results and compares your answers to the voiced opinions of your presidential candidates.

    Despite the fact that the opinions of all Americans hold significance in the outcome, only 45% of young people between the ages of 18 and 29 years old voted in the 2012 presidential general election, making up 21% of all voters. This is down from 51% in 2008. Although it’s important to vote for your president, it is also very important to vote in the midterm elections, where people elect their local representatives. In 2014 however, only 21.5% of Americans below the age 30 voted, which made up only 13% of total voters.

    You might be wondering, why am I so pressed about youth voting? What's the matter with the fact that the majority of voters are over the age of 30? Well, there is no doubt that the opinions expressed by millennials differ from the opinions expressed by baby boomers. By not voting, we are practically putting our future into the hands of previous generations. Generations that are not as racially diverse as ours; generations that are not characterized by the same accepting morals as ours; generations that were brought up in an almost entirely different era. Many baby boomers were even alive when Jim Crow laws were still going strong.

We need all Americans voting in our elections. So please, register to vote as soon as you can. To register to vote in D.C., you must be at least 17 years old and turn 18 on or before the date of the next general election. To begin your registering process, click here (if you're from D.C.).