Rihanna wants you to vote (along with countless celebrities tracing all the way back to when MTV was actually about music). And you should always listen to celebrities, right? Maybe not, but in this case, absolutely. With midterm elections quickly approaching, stars, politicians, organizations, and the like have been pushing voter registration and voting especially hard this year. Even Patagonia and Tyson—yes, the dino chicken nugget company—encourage employees to vote by giving them election day off. But what about our youth?
Repeated reports show young voters (18-29) consistently register and/or vote in lower numbers than other age demographics. According to a study conducted by Tufts University, 2014 saw only 19.9% of 18-24-year-olds actually vote in the elections, while 46.7% said they were registered . . . the lowest rates in the past forty years according to the Current Population Supplement.
Now, I know that’s not the fault of today’s high schoolers; most of us were a little too concerned with middle school stress to cast our ballots, and we were definitely way too young. But now that we’re at or approaching the legal voting age, we should be excited to live in a country that lets us make decisions. I know I am! Because of my excitement about voting in midterms, I decided to gauge how my peers feel about the process, what their plans are, and what they know about it. So I took to the polls . . . Instagram polls to be specific. Here are the results from the 161 teenagers who participated:
76% said they were NOT registered
- 83% of those said they were not due to age
- Only 37% of those were aware they could pre-register online at 17 (registertovote.ca.gov)
- 17% of those said they were not due to disinterest or inconvenience
- Of those who said they were not due to disinterest, 64% said they believed the results of midterm elections affected their daily lives
- Of those who said they were not due to inconvenience, only 60% were aware they could register online (registertovote.ca.gov)
24% said they WERE registered
- Only 46% of these teenagers said they ARE voting in midterms
- 93% of these teens said they are voting based off of their own research
- The other 7% said they were voting in accordance with their parents/guardians
If you know me at all, you probably know I love a good discussion and am a major social science nerd. Not everyone feels that way. I get it. Maybe you were already planning on voting, maybe Rihanna was enough to convince you, or maybe you need some further convincing. Here are some major reasons you should vote as soon as you can:
- Politicians are more likely to address the needs of voters.
- You can complain about who is elected and not be made fun of.
- It’s good practice.
- Races can get close. Every vote really does count.
- It’s a right many people fought for you to have.
California midterm elections are November 6, and the last day to register was October 22. It’s my hope that you’ll join myself and millions of other Americans in voting—if not this year, in the years to come. It can’t hurt to register ahead of time for the next election cycle! As Kim Kardashian said proceeding the 2016 Presidential Election, “God bless America for allowing us to even make these decisions—there are so many in this world who are not so privileged.”
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GOOD MORNING AMERICA ☀️ Who is awake this morning? And who’s woke? Cause today is an extremely crucial day to the future of America!!! Today is the last day in 14 states to REGISTER TO VOTE… I’m talking to you ARIZONA, ARKANSAS, FLORIDA, GEORGIA, INDIANA, KENTUCKY, LOUISIANA, MICHIGAN, MISSISSIPPI, NEW MEXICO, OHIO, PENNSYLVANIA, TENNESSEE, TEXAS. You have 1 job today and that is to properly register to vote. I don’t care what responsibilities you have today, there’s no greater responsibility than being in control of your future and the future starts NOW!! We don’t have time, no procrastinating, don’t let the discouragement take you off coarse, that’s not how my people or my generation will go down…this is the loudest way to make your voice heard! REGISTER TODAY! Let’s go!!! 💪🏿💪🏿💪🏿 Go to Vote.org to register and to double and triple check that you are properly registered!
Photo Credits: Google Images