Laura Stancato and Kelsey Rairden’s thoughts on young voter turnout

I recently came across an article titled  “Young Voters Unlikely to Show up in Large Numbers at Polls” which I initially found very disheartening. So, I asked two of my very talented campaign volunteers who are in high school what they thought about this article. They have graciously allowed me  to share their thoughts. These bright young ladies give me hope for our future and are proof young people are paying attention.

Laura Stancato, Hamilton Southeastern Student, said:

In order for any real change to occur in this country, young voters need to fulfill their civic duty and take part in elections, whether those be local, statewide or national. Young people are some of the most politically active — on social media. This ‘activism’ is not nearly enough. It’s time to use our words and take action. The first step in doing so is voting.

Legislation affects us young people more in the long run than any other generation. If we want to be safe in schools, to have our children feel safe when they go to school, then we need to vote in legislators who will take steps towards stricter gun control. If we want people in our hometown safe from hate crimes, we need to vote in legislators who will take steps towards passing the long overdue hate crime legislation. If we want to see any sort of change in America as we grow up, it’s up to us, and our vote, to make that change happen.

We young people need to be the generation that votes out politicians who do not have our best interests at heart. Social media activism will never enact real change. Voting is a critical part of our duties as Americans, and it’s time we recognize that.

The importance of using our voices is at an all-time high. It is absolutely imperative that we young people show up in numbers to the election this November. Our voices will not be heard if we silence them. Do your part, and vote for change.

Kelsey Rairden, Fishers High School Student, said:

The voice of young voters could very much be the deciding factor in close political races across the country this year- the problem? Many don’t plan to even participate in this May primary election. Young voters have been historically known to not participate in primaries, and this includes all of those under 30.  In the 2016 election, young people were completely split between the republican and democratic parties, and Indiana University Bloomington’s turnout in this election was just over 45%. This being said, the youth vote could have a large impact, but many young voters feel their opinion may be useless since other age groups in the area are so predominantly republican. Many young voters, students in particular, also don’t feel educated on the candidates for primaries to feel compelled to vote.  They don’t want to show up and check a box.

As a young voter myself, I understand this perspective, and I wasn’t aware of many candidates that were running when I was at the polls.  I think that there should be some sort of program or event where the candidates are introduced, where you can go and meet them, or just get more information. I think that’s the root of the problem, is the lack of education on candidates that makes people, especially young people,  not want to perform their civic duty. Young people are rising up in their voice around the country, especially in regards to gun violence in schools. But their passion needs to be noticed in voting, where real legislative change will take place if they partake. Whether citizens like it or not, they are the voice of the future, and it’s time that they are treated as such during elections. More education and conversation is crucial for higher voter turnout come next election.

 

*If you want to support my campaign and our efforts to increase student engagement you can donate here.

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