Sitting through the candidate’s forum on Oct. 2, I noticed a large group of people missing. It appears that today’s younger generation was not present.
According to Young Democrats of America (YDA), approximately 46 million 18-29 year olds are eligible to vote in 2012, across the nation. Even with these statistics we still have very few young people going to the polls. Only an estimated 22 million actually vote.
The YDA is a substructure of the Democratic National Committee (DNC). In accordance with the DNC Charter and By-Laws, YDA maintains three voting member positions on the Democratic National Committee.
In my opinion three causes are worth discussing to why the younger generation does not vote. First, many young people don’t see the connection between voting and their commitment to improving their communities, advocate for a cause, or change the world. Secondly, young voters are cynical when it comes to politics. Finally, our youth today can get bored quickly if there isn’t an electronic device involved. So yes, civic engagement can be uninteresting to them.
All those who participate in the political process, parents, teachers, and candidates, need to stress the importance of voting. Our younger generation needs to understand that yes a lot of the people we have voted into office have made some very terrible mistakes for the American people. By not taking a stand now nothing will ever change. They need to take a few minutes and read about propositions, and the candidates. These things will make a difference in their lives.
Voting is critical, but it is just one step in the broad spectrum of engagement required to advance real change, whatever your goals and ideology. For democracy to flourish, we need people to do it all vote, volunteer and voice their thoughts.
Young people you are the future and your voices do count. Get out there and vote on Nov. 6.