Creating an Impact

With the upcoming election on the horizon, opinions are beginning to form regarding policy and candidates. However, some are being forced to consider if voting is even worth their time at all. It can be difficult for us to justify taking the time to register and going to the polls on a workday. This has become especially true for young voters, who historically have the worst turn-out of any age group. You can register to vote here.

An increasing percentage of young voters do not make it to the polls, the question is why.
This demographic has displayed a growing interest in politics, often through protest and social media. However, so few of them actually vote when the time arrives.
Image of stickers handed out after voting. Image by Justin Sullivan

There are barriers between young people (18-29) and voting in the election cycles. It can be difficult for younger people to know what they should expect. Some show up with ID’s in hand only to learn they aren’t required in their state. Others live where they
require ID’s but lack a driver’s license due to increased urbanization. Laws regarding residency have also proven a problem. Many in this age group currently attend college out of state, making it difficult for them to return to their home state to vote. Those who are not attending college often have frequent address changes, making it so that they are forced to frequently update their current address in order to stay current as a registered voter

The Hurdle

However, the biggest hurdle is that they believe that many young voters feel their vote doesn’t matter. When viewed as a single voice among millions, voting can feel discouraging. Such thoughts and discussion cause a natural doubt of the effectiveness of casting a vote. Furthermore, sometimes it feels like these issues are less important than what currently impacts the young voter’s life. Yet, within a few years, these key issues will be at the forefront of their minds. Taxes, buying a house, starting a business, college debt, these things become relevant sooner than many realize. By becoming politically intelligent and voting early on, young people can protect their interests later in life
The chance to make a change in your life, a chance to change your country for the better, is worth the time. New programs have begun to push early voting and cast a ballot via the mail. These programs are intended to help those with busy lives or those who would otherwise not have the chance. Some have even begun the push to encourage younger individuals to get out and vote, to have a say in their own future.

On your own, a single vote is minuscule,
just another drop in the bucket. But, with thousands, even millions, who may share your take on issues in the country, things begin to change. Every vote adds up, especially in swing states, split between political parties. It’s about more than the next President, but individual issues that will affect the future. Despite this lingering doubt that our vote isn’t worth the effort, that it doesn’t have an impact, that just isn’t the case. While a single vote may not be a game-changer, together they can alter the course of history.