Editorial: Young people should vote



Young people are extremely powerful in the voting booth. Numerous statistics exist to prove this.  According to the Huffington Post, if the 20,000,000 college students in the United States were grouped together and considered a state, this state would have the third largest voting population in the country—trailing only California and Texas. Millennials will comprise a staggering 40 percent of the voting population by the year 2020. It is clear that our generation already comprises a powerfully-large portion of the voting population, and this portion will only grow larger—thus more powerful–as time passes.

Unfortunately, Millennials do not exert their immense voting power as much as they can—and should.  In a poll conducted by Rock the Vote and USA Today, only around 60% of millennials indicated that they are likely to vote in the 2016 election.  

This is a disheartening statistic given the importance of the the 2016 presidential election. This election is especially important for all Americans for a number of reasons.  Two of Supreme Court’s nine sitting justices—Ginsburg and Kennedy—will be in their 80s and one—Breyer—is in his 70s. With Scalia’s spot open and more spots likely to open given the high ages of three other justices, the next president will get to shift the Supreme Court’s balance of power for the first time in 25 years—in a major way. This is meaningful because the Supreme Court has the final word on many controversial policy questions.

Barack Obama’s second-term was marked by executive action—most notably in the areas of increasing climate change prevention measures and gun safety measures

These actions could be undone immediately when the next president steps foot in the oval office. With possession of the majority in the House and the Senate, the Republican party has the highest power index most living people have seen in their lifetimes. A Democrat in the White House could dampen this power, while a Republican in the White house could further tip the scales in Republicans’ favor.  The country is at a pivotal point regarding Social Security, healthcare and environmental policy.

While the 2016 election is especially important for all Americans, it is the most important for Millennials.  Many college students who are distracted by the comfort often provided by college life fail to realize the reality that they are about to enter the real world and assume real financial responsibilities.  In the next four to eight years, our generation will be finding jobs, buying homes, and starting families in the economic and social climates mandated by the presidential administration elected in 2016.

 Young people have so many reasons to vote and no reasons not to.  Voting is the best way for us to invest in our future. Our ability to vote makes us accountable: we can’t complain that the country is a mess in the future if we don’t vote.  Young people need to vote—the younger you are, the greater political power you have and the more you have to lose.