It has been an ongoing challenge to increase youth voter turnout in the United States. In the 2018 midterm elections, 36% of Americans aged 18-29 voted which was a decrease from approximately 50% of Americans that voted in the 2016 elections. Unfortunately, there has been a lot of debate surrounding voting. Many Americans have become disillusioned when it comes to voting. This comes from them feeling like their voices are not being heard. The pandemic has exacerbated this. A lot of Americans are out of work, there is the issue of police brutality, and also voter suppression.
What people don’t realize is, there is power in numbers. History has shown us this numerous times with the Civil Rights movement and the Women’s Suffrage Movement. African Americans and women joined together and created their own movements in order to have their voices heard. I believe that the same can be done in 2020. If the youth bands together and more people come out to vote in the 2020 election, they will be more likely to have their voices heard on issues they care about and how those issues affect them.
As an intern with Student PIRGs, I have been working on the New Voters Project with several other talented people in order to make sure that the youth has their voices heard as well as to show the importance and impact of voting in America. I believe that through the New Voters Project, the attitude towards voting can be changed and more young people will come out to vote in the 2020 elections.
— Alexandria Sally, Lafayette Street, Salem
The writer is a student at Salem State University