Young people are under-represented in the US political system.
In 2016, the turnout rate for young voters was just 49%. This has led some scholars and activists to argue that low youth voter turnout is a problem. But other researchers disagree on whether this decline really matters much or even exists at all.
The youth vote is a force to be reckoned with in American politics. It’s not just that today’s generation cares about issues like climate change or gun control. It’s also that they’re more likely to vote than any other age group. But today’s generation is more politically active than ever before.
The youth vote is becoming more important due to their increased diversity, education levels, and involvement in the political process. The youth vote has been a topic of discussion for decades. In the United States, the youth vote is often described as being “the most important” or “one of the most important” parts of elections.
As a result, candidates often target younger voters with promises to improve their lives and make them more productive citizens.
The youth vote has, for a long time, had an outsized impact on American politics. It’s been important since the beginning of our country—and it continues to be.
The first time that 18-year-olds earned their right to vote was in 1971.
The 26th Amendment was passed and it also allowed women to vote. Also, it gave people who had been convicted of a felony or were serving time in prison the opportunity to vote once they were released. The reason for this change? The Vietnam War. They wanted a say in how it ended, so they started protesting against it instead of just sitting back and watching what happened on TV news reports.
The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was a federal law that prohibited racial discrimination in voting. The law applied to all elections held in the United States, but it especially targeted southern states with a history of preventing African Americans from voting.
It also helped create an environment where young people were able to vote for the first time. This is because young people were able to register and participate in elections at an earlier age than before.
The Decline of Youth Voters
Youth voter turnout is 50% less than that of the general population. It’s been trending downward since 1972 when it was 66%.
For example, the 2016 election saw a 50% lower turnout rate among young people than among all adults. In fact, it was only 18% higher than that of their elders — a number that compares unfavorably to many other countries’ youth voter turnout rates.
The reasons why young Americans don’t vote are numerous and varied.
The reasons why young Americans don’t vote are numerous and varied. Some blame it on apathy or disinterest. Others point out that they’re busy with schoolwork or other activities. Still, others say it’s because they don’t feel connected enough with politics at their age level. But no matter, these trends need to change if we want more young people involved in civic life!
In 1966 just under half (48%) of voters were over 65 years old. By 2016 over two-thirds (67%) were senior citizens!
Both Republican and Democratic youth voters supported President Bill Clinton in 1992 and 1996
In both 1992 and 1996, President Bill Clinton was the first Democratic candidate to win the youth vote since 1964. His campaign focused on issues that would appeal to young people such as increased access to education, health care, and job opportunities.
In 2008, 44% of young people voted for Barack Obama. Young people 36% voted for John McCain, and 21% voted for other candidates or did not cast a ballot at all. During the 2004 election between George W. Bush and Democratic challenger John Kerry, youth voters accounted for 19% of the voting population.
In 2012, President Obama won 60% of young voter support to Mitt Romney’s 37%
In 2008 and 2004, however, young voters supported John McCain over Barack Obama by a slim margin. It’s clear that the youth vote can have an outsized impact on elections.
It was only in 2016 that young people (18-29 years old) made up the largest share of registered voters for the first time ever. As a result, their voting rate is rising at an unprecedented rate: from 65% in 1992 to 75% in 2016.
Some states have tried to lower the voting age in municipal elections to 16, with mixed results. In fact, some cities have seen a rise in turnout, and others have not.
Young people are more likely to move across state lines, which means that they’re less likely to vote in their new home state.
This could be a problem because it makes it harder for young people who move across state lines to vote. If you want your voice heard by elected officials and politicians, then you need them to know where you live so that they can write your name on their ballot at every election.
Young people who grow up in households with high levels of civic engagement are more likely to vote later on because they understand how important it is for everyone including them.
The most obvious way to get young people more involved in politics is to increase their turnout. As a result, this kind of involvement could lead them down a path toward voting later on.
Incorporating Digital Technology
Also, incorporating digital technology into outreach efforts can make things easier for candidates who want their message heard.
Student-run voter registration and mobilization groups can be effective. For instance, by registering voters on college campuses. In fact, students are more likely to vote if their friends do. This means that it’s important for these groups not only to register voters but also encourage them to vote in the election.
Most young people in the United States don’t vote.
By Armon Evans
NY Times – Why Don’t Young People Vote, and What Can Be Done About It?
Youth Employment – Why It’s Important For Young People To Vote In The Next General Election By Harvey Morton, Youth Ambassador
Washington Post – The Youth Vote is Being Suppressed. The 26th Amendment is the Solution Perspective by Jennifer Frost and Eric S. Fish
Top and Featured Images Courtesy of San José Public Library | Flickr