By Devin Dubon
It’s well known that young people tend not to vote. It’s become sort of a meme in the political sphere: millenials too busy eating avocado toast in their tumblr pink room. Most parties try to appeal to them, yearning for their coveted vote; but, it never works.
The turnout of young voters has always been low. Since the 60s, the amount of youth turnout has been significantly lower than other age ranges. In fact, this disparity has been growing: young people now are less active than those from the eighties.
It’s not just an American problem either. Not a single European country has younger voters turn out more than their older counterparts.
But the ‘why’ has consistently been a mystery. We don’t hate politics or politicians. We’re more informed than any generation that has come before; we have the world at our fingertips: any information we could possibly need about a candidate or their positions is just a click or a tap away.
Perhaps the answer is, instead, our need to be non-conformative. It’s well documented that millenials no longer adhere to the strict dogma our predecessors have. We are less religious and we don’t marry. We are clearly moving away and rebelling from these large institutions, and the same applies for politics. Pew found that over 50% of millennials identify as independents, rather than republicans or democrats
But the true answer has nothing to do with our political involvement. Instead, the real reason millennials don’t vote is that we don’t settle down.
Voting comes with age. It is when we marry, buy a house, have children, that people start to vote – across all generations.
But this is taking longer with us. In 1970 the average woman was not even 21 when she first married. Today, that number has moved to 26, if ever. It is when we settle down that we actually decide to go out and vote because then those decisions have a direct impact on our lives.
Until then, we truly just have no reason to. We will complain about it, perhaps write a strongly worded tweet to the president with a few #resists thrown in, but actually going out and voting is a whole other matter.
We assume that these decisions can be settled by themselves. We ourselves don’t actually have to do something because everybody else will. But because everybody is thinking the same thing, nobody does it.
But there are signs that this is changing.
In the aftermath of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting, young people are realizing the true impact of coming out and voting. Students like Cameron Kasky and David Hogg have become the voices of our generation.
We now have somebody egging us on, to actually go out and truly make a difference, and perhaps a tragedy like this was exactly what we needed.
Source:: The Harbinger