This is No Time to Sit Back and Relax, Young People – Your Votes Are Needed!
Election Day this year is Tuesday, November 6.
A recent poll by the Harvard Kennedy School, Institute of Politics revealed that individuals between the ages of 18 and 29 are significantly more likely to vote in the upcoming midterm elections with 40% saying that they will “definitely vote”. This age group makes up the largest voting bloc, but we can make a difference only if we show up.
While young people may advocate loudly on many issues, historically when it comes to Election Day, they just don’t show up to vote. As a young person myself, I see it both ways. I see peers fired up and ready to go; campaigning, calling potential voters to make sure people are registered, and helping them get their absentee ballot sent in or create a plan to get to the polls. On the other hand, I see many peers in my hometown saying that they don’t have a plan to vote or that they’re choosing not to vote in the upcoming election.
Choosing not to vote? Voting is your civic duty, not a choice. We have a responsibility to vote, it’s a fundamental part of living in a democracy. Whether you agree or disagree with how things are going in our country, your state, or your town, you should cast a ballot on (or before!) November 6. Don’t think that your vote won’t count, because they do. Many elections come down to just a few votes. Just last year an election in Virginia came down to a flip of a coin to break a tie between two candidates. Having a say in who runs every level of our government is a huge privilege we have as Americans – we truly have the power to make our voices heard.
Something I hear a lot among my peers is that they don’t know who they are voting for because they don’t know much about the candidates running. It’s true that it’s important to be informed about who and what is on the ballot. With a quick google search you’ll be able to know where candidates stand on all the issues. Many candidates have an “Issues” tab on their website where it lays out their stances. Also, it doesn’t hurt to pick up the phone and call their campaign office to ask a few questions. Thanks to the internet and social media, today you can easily find information about all political candidates to inform your decision on November 6. BallotReady is a great resource to get all the information on candidates, referendums, and anything else on the ballot so you’ll be 100% prepared for election day!
I know I will be looking at where candidates stand on women’s health including birth control. Here are some questions to find out where your candidate stands on the important issue of birth control access:
Do they support public funding for birth control so women with lower incomes have access to the full range of methods?
Do they support the requirement that insurance companies cover the full range of birth control methods without co-pays (which the Affordable Care Act currently requires)?
Get to the polls, grab a friend, volunteer, and make sure you perform your civic duty. And make sure others do too! Young people have the power to make change, but only if we show up...
Make sure you have a plan to vote. If not, visit our activation page.