Elections are influenced by young voters

by Josh Tandy

As most of you know the 2018 midterm elections are coming up in August and I see this as an opportunity for the young people of the United States. If young people in larger numbers across all parts of the country voted, this could change the course of politics in the United States.

For the 2016 presidential election, it is hard to find the exact voter turnout for people in the age range of 18-24-year-old. Various universities, such as Tufts University and Florida University, have estimates that put the voting range from around 45 percent to 50 percent. This is slightly higher than average for young voters, but this is still an abysmal showing compared to other groups that range from 57 percent all the way up to 70 percent.

Eighteen-24-year-old voters also have the ability to influence elections if they increase voting turnout. The millennial generation plus Generation Z (the generation most college students are in) are now officially bigger than baby boomers in voting population. This causes a greater ripple effect than what most people think about.

Most politicians talk about saving Medicare and Social Security when they campaign because that appeals to Baby Boomers, who vote the most. So, what would happen if more millennials and generation z started voting? We can address issues that relate more to what we care about, like the rising national debt and student loans.

In the end, it doesn’t matter who you vote for. I ultimately want to encourage you to go out to vote not just in the 2018 elections, but all of your small local elections too. Politics can make a huge impact on us and sometimes the most impactful ones are the small local elections. If 2018 can be the year of young voters proving that our votes matter maybe we could start a modern day political revolution.  

Contact Josh Tandy at jtandy21@my.whitworth.edu