Vote, Seniors, Vote!


As we approach the final days of our senior year, many of us are already 18 years old, meaning we can finally cast our ballots on a local, state, and national level. But for many, the thought of finally being able to vote is put in the backseat by the realization of being an adult and getting a new “legit” driver’s license. But across America, while there’s been an uptick in youth voter turnout in recent years, young people continue to have the lowest voter turnout relative to other groups, marking a problem for generations to come. It is up to us, the next generation of American leaders, pioneers, and changemakers, to cast our ballots and ignite the change that the civic process allows us to make. 

No matter your political affiliation, your vote as a young American will be part of a transformational political force, one that makes up roughly half of the American voting population. Many experts suggest that the millennial generation vote will soon become the most influential voter group in the next decade. The issues that are being discussed on the national stage right now, ones like college tuition reform, national job programs, and welfare policies, will affect our lives for years to come. If you’re thinking about going to college, your vote will be part of one of many movements to determine how your college tuition will be paid, and what kinds of opportunities you will have at college. 

Many young people feel like their vote doesn’t count. But what we don’t realize is that in this polarized America, every single vote counts, as a couple of votes can tip elections to either side. For evidence that your vote does indeed count, look no further than President Barack Obama in 2008, who energized the youth movement that ended up being the key coalition of his campaign, handing him the enormous Electoral College victory. Another reason why our votes matter is that we as young voters are one of the most ethnically and socially diverse groups in American history. Political scientists suggest that it is our generation that can provide the much-needed challenge to the traditional American two-party system, with as many as 35% of young voters identifying themselves as Independent. 

Where do you see yourself four years from now? Working right out of high school, college, perhaps serving overseas in the US Army? Whatever your plans, doesn’t it make sense for you to have a say in policies and ideas that will change your life in the long term? Participating in elections is a sure-shot way to ensure that your voice is heard and your interests are secured, at least for the first few years of your adulthood.