Youth votes matter

By MELINA CASILLAS

Pg06-Opinion-Casillas, Melina

Voting is not meant just for an older American demographic. The youth vote of 18- to 29-year-olds is important as well.

Young people must vote not only because it is our civic responsibility but also because our vote does influence elections.

Presidential candidates across the board are seeking the youth vote.

Donald Trump has enlisted help from his daughter, Ivanka, whom young Republican voters seem to like.

Hillary Clinton has used pop culture references such as Beyoncé in her speeches, and recruited pop star Demi Lovato to campaign for her. Clinton’s daughter, Chelsea, has also been on the campaign trail.

Whether the methods of bringing in their children and famous figures works or not, it is clear candidates are desperate for our attention and vote.

Campaigns and rallies shouldn’t be the only places we’re heard.

Low turnout is common among youth, perhaps because young people think their vote won’t matter. In reality, it does.

Sixty-six percent of those who voted in the 2008 election for Barack Obama were under the age of 30, according to the Pew Research Center.

Young voters made an impact on the 2008 election and are expected to influence this year’s election as well, says a nonpartisan group, the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, also known as CIRCLE.

In the New Hampshire primary, young voters made up 43 percent of the votes.

“Young voters braved the winter weather and came out in large numbers,” said Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg, CIRCLE director for New Hampshire.

She said young people were “shattering the myth that they are unreliable voters who will only vote when it is convenient for them.”

They’ve realized the impact they can have, Kawashima-Ginsberg added.

“Young people saw the pivotal role that they can play in this election, and the direction of this country, and they responded by making their voices heard, loud and clear,” she said.

Our input matters, and if we don’t begin participating we’ll only continue in the vicious cycle of nothing being changed.

Arizona’s primary elections will be held March 22.

While the deadline to register for the primary election has passed, registering to vote is still important for the general election in November.

Registering to vote is easy. It can be done online at servicearizona.com/voterRegistration, through the mail or in person at the local county recorder’s office.

Get registered, and get to the polls.

Casillas is the sole Bernie supporter in a family full of Clinton supporters, but she plans to make them all Feel the Bern.

Filed Under: Opinion

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  1. Vanessa Reyes says:

    I really liked your article. It made me realize how important it is for us young adults to vote and help change things.

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