According to the U.S. government census, only 46% of people aged 18-29 went out to the polls and voted in the 2016 election. This is an alarming statistic and one that needs to be changed immediately. As a college-aged student, this terrifies me because I know our interests will not be represented in congress. Important issues that face our generation such as global warming, exhaustion of natural resources, and increased social stratification are being swept to the side by politicians because we, as a generation, do not vote. Why would a politician running for re-election care about the needs of the youth, when the youth does not vote?
According to that same U.S. Census, 70% of people aged 65 and older were able to find a way to get to the polls and vote, meaning that the issues of our elderly population are at the forefront of the political discussion because these are the people that elect our officials. This is a problem because the issues facing the elderly and the issues facing our generation are extremely different. Our elderly population is more concerned with social security and Medicaid than they are global warming or the student loan crisis. This type of thinking is bad for our generation because by the time people realize that we need to take action, it will be too late. Climate change gets worse by the day and student debt is not going away any time soon. As young people we need to rally together and increase voter turnout in order to bring more attention to the critical issues that we will face as a generation.
Our future depends upon us, now more than ever. The problems looming over our generation are great but I firmly believe that through the democratic process we can as young adults can truly enact great change. But this can only happen if we actually go to polls and vote in this upcoming election, one of the most important in recent history. It will determine the direction our country takes for years to come. Therefore, it is important to spread the message to your friends and family and hold them accountable for getting to the polls. People have died for your right to vote, use it.