Teen Election Participation On The Rise

Teen Election Participation On The Rise

The 2020 election had a huge surge in young voter turnout. With the two main running candidates differing widely in policy, many young people felt it was important to cast their vote.

According to a report from Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life at Tufts University, as of November 1st, nearly 7 million young people ages 18-29 had voted early or by absentee ballot for the 2020 election.

Nowadays, the younger generations are the age group most engaged with social media. Social media has very quickly become a tool not just for news but also for political commentary and civic engagement.

Social media makes it easier for opinions to be spread very far in record speed. Most young people believe that it’s important, especially in this election, to get their opinions out there and help educate others on the issues at hand.

“It is important for young people to use their voice when it comes to politics because we are the future. Even if some people can’t vote, it’s important for them to speak up about what they believe in to make others socially aware of what’s going on. So many young people voted in this election because we wanted a change,” senior Azucena Hernandez said.

For the last few years, some young people have been in the center of organizing important era defining events. They have been leaders in protests against racial injustice and police brutality, gun violence, and climate injustice. It’s clear that they find an importance in voicing their opinions and doing whatever they can to contribute to change.

Many young people have taken it upon themselves to educate the older generations as well as their peers.

“I think there was a lot more participation than usual, even from those not able to vote. Young teens saw the problems going on in this country and really stepped it up. They were willing to get informed, with some even furthering the knowledge of their parents,” an anonymous senior said.

A major criticism of the current young generation, many of which are still under 18, is that they shouldn’t be so vocal about their opinions or form one at all until they turn of age.

“I think people saying you shouldn’t form an opinion until you turn 18 is really annoying. It isn’t that once you turn 18 a magical switch flips somewhere in the world that says you can now hold a political opinion. Someone who can’t vote can be just as, if not more, informed than someone who can,” junior Evan Gay said.

Obviously, once someone turns 18 they don’t wake up with a plethora of political knowledge they didn’t have before. It’s all about if young people are willing to step up and educate themselves, which most have done during this election.

There is no issue with forming political beliefs at a young age as long as the opinions are being formed with facts and personal morals in mind. With this generation having more access to information than any before, it only makes sense that they would form such strong opinions.