Millennials and Voting
October 4, 2016
If you are in the 18 – 21 year-old age group, then congratulations on your first opportunity to vote in the United States.
As first time voters, there can be questions about voting. According to the Pew Research Center, the main question for 54% of Millennials (ages 18-32) in 2012, was “Should I vote at all?” and their answer was “no.”
While many people may feel that their one vote will not make a difference, consider for a moment that there are 69.2 million Millennials and this is a very significant number.
The only other demographic of voters that can rival Millennials is the Baby Boomers (ages 52-70) and there are 69.7 million of them. According to the Pew Research Center 69% of them do show up to vote.
While there is no competition between demographic voter blocks, an argument could be made that Millennials will be impacted by the decisions made today for a much longer period of time, than any other demographic group of voters.
While it may seem that a Presidential candidate elected to office for the next 4 years isn’t a long-term issue, the judges they appoint, for example, could have an impact on daily life for the next 40 years. In some cases, a lack of governing policy could affect generations to come as well.
Millennials currently have the largest student debt ever in our history. Also, longer wait times for marriage, home-ownership and starting a family than ever before in our country’s history. The inheritance of climate change and the effects of severe weather patterns around the world means that Millennials will have a lot of important choices and struggles ahead of them as well.
Millennials will have to live with the policy decisions made by today’s politicians longer than any other demographic group and this alone should compel more than only 46% of Millennials to vote in this upcoming election.
Franklin D. Roosevelt famously once said, “nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves and the only way they could do this is by not voting.”
If you care not currently registered to vote, you have until October 31st to register to vote in the State of Washington. At this late date you must register in person at the Pierce County Elections Office at: 2501 S. 35th St, Suite C, in Tacoma (3 blocks north of the Tacoma Mall). You must be a U.S. citizen and 18 years old by Election Day. Once you are registered, a mail-in ballot will be sent to your home address. This ballot must be returned either by drop box or U.S. Postal Service, anytime by November 8, 2016.
There are 30 ballot drop boxes in Pierce County; to locate one near you go to www.piercecountyelections.org.