Ava Seccuro staff writer
As the impending midterm elections loom, Americans, and especially young adults, should be more conscious of what and who we want represented in our government, and if the elected officials will bring the progress that our nation needs.
The last midterm election in 2014 had a turnout of a mere 13 percent among eligible millennials voters. Millennials represent such a large portion of the electorate, but only a small percentage of them actually participated in the American privilege and Constitutional right to vote. Anecdotally, they possess a liberal bias and create families of their own later in life.
But, we are not millennials. We are a part of Generation-Z, who are within the age range of eight to 19. We are more technologically savvy than our older counterparts and since we are more familiar with the type of marketing that social networking provides, we respond to more direct and charismatic ways of communication.
We as a group of youthful, conscious individuals embody the divergent yet collective hopes of this generation to shape the future of this country, but we need to ask ourselves, if we are now beginning to dictate the terms of what our government does for us, how can we most effectively utilize our rights so that our voices are heard and our all-important votes counted?
As we are the next generation that is eligible to vote, we should not emulate millennials by avoiding the ballot box. Moreover, regardless of whether or not we are more liberal or conservative than millennials, we cannot simply ignore the candidates who we have as options just because “we do not like them.”
We cannot stand by with an attitude of apathy because these candidates do not campaign in a way that will catch our eye quickly or that will conform to every one of our generation’s nuanced political views.
What our generation excels at is that in the face of the unique political climate that we are experiencing, we speak up for the changes that we want in our government.
Whether it’s protesting gun laws, spreading awareness about mental health and drug use or supporting LGBTQ youth, our generation is using our political climate to be productive and to find ways to connect with our community. With rallies, protests, petitions, social media and much more, we make a difference in our society by making our opinions known through these outlets.
Speaking up can only do so much in order to actually attempt to change things in office. The only real way to start fighting for what we want represented by our governments is to vote.
Since most of us range from ages of 13 to 18, we are all imminently eligible to vote and make a difference in our society. Something that is easy and accessible to us is preregistering to vote. Preregistering to vote is open to 16 and 17 year olds, and if one is to pre-register at that age, registration will automatically become active on their 18th birthday.
Midterm elections are seven weeks away. Whether or not we are newly eligible to vote, or we are merely pre-registering, we need to head to the ballot boxes and make a beneficially change for our community.
At the core of American politics, elected officials are public servants, and we are their employers. We need to communicate our concerns for this country and our wishes for the future of our democracy to improve our country. Most importantly, we need to tell each other that it is crucial to vote, so that if everyone thinks his/her one vote is significant, we can reach our goals in a collective and unified effort. Pre-register to vote as soon as you can so these can be achieved.