By Taylor Boyer
You’ll have to excuse me; my mind has been on this election, and more specifically, the low voter participation during this cycle. In an article published by NPR on February 24, entitled “The 10 States Where Millennials Could Sway The Election,” author Asma Khalid explains how Millennials have the ability to influence the outcome of this year’s upcoming presidential election. Yep, that’s right, they could influence an entire election.
Khalid explains that in the last election, Millennials had the lowest voter turnout of any age group. On the plus side, Khalid predicts that this trend will reverse in years to come and suggests that if political parties and candidates began to target Millennials and “tap into the power of young voters,” election results would start to show record numbers of voters from ages 18-24 participating in the election process. However, it’ll take some time until this kind of progress is made; progress is thirsty work.
The issue of voter turnout has a large amount of political significance as low voter turnout can potentially become a problem for equal representation in our political system in terms of age, and, as the article suggests, an increased voter turnout by Millennials could sway an entire presidential election.
Without more outreach to young potential voters, our political system will become increasingly more disproportionate with each subsequent generation of young voters. The article suggests that several improvements be made to the current voter registration process including pre-registration and same-day registration in order to attract first-time voters.
Young voter turnout has become so significant in recent elections because when these young voters are mobilized and actually vote, they have the ability to sway an election in a direction that was not originally projected before taking these young people’s votes into consideration.
While it may not seem like much, voting is one of the most basic examples of political activism. Voting is a relatively new process in terms of human history; it allows each voice to be heard and weighed, and as Khalid suggested, may allow young Millennials the chance to sway the outcome of the presidential election.