The votes of young Americans are needed now more than ever. On Tuesday it’s imperative that all young people understand the power they hold, especially when not all are given that same opportunity.
Millennials are growing to be the largest electorate group, making up almost half of the nation’s voting-eligible population, according to a Pew Research Center analysis.
In numbers, we could be the most powerful political force, but only if we actually show up to the polls.
This midterm election, we must make our voices heard, for ourselves and for our peers without a voice.
Recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, who were brought to the country as children but don’t have citizenship, and undocumented students are unable to vote because of their immigration status.
Undocumented students at Orange Coast College have voiced concerns about the small percentage of people who actually vote and said they use every opportunity they can to urge others to exercise the right they don’t have themselves.
David Guadarrama, a 20-year-old political science major and undocumented student at OCC, is hoping citizens are educated when they enter cast their ballots.
“I know a lot of citizens who are uneducated when it comes to politics or don’t want to know about politics,” Guadarrama said. “I really care about pro-immigration policy and environmental policies. Especially with this recent report saying we only have 12 years to fix the damage to the environment before it’s too late.”
In 2016, Millennials made up 27 percent of eligible voters while Baby Boomers, ages 52 to 70, comprised 31 percent, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. The Boomer voting-eligible population peaked in 2004 and has steadily declined since, while the Millennial electorate continues to grow.
It’s only a matter of time before we make up the largest group, and it’d be shameful if the majority of us stayed home on election day.
Every individual voice matters, but if we stand together we can make real change for ourselves and for those without a say.
Voting is an integral component of American history and of our democracy.
It’s easier than ever to be an informed voter. Be an adult, do some research, and make an effort to exercise your civic duty.
It’s time for young adults to make their voices heard loud and clear.