Make Votes Matter Again

Younger voters are important. Now wait, before you click away, I should probably explain why.

I mean, why should anyone care if your vote doesn’t count, right? Do we really have a voice in our government? Or what about the things we don’t understand? I mean, who really cares about politics anyway? It’s all just about Trump or something about the Russians. Why should you care?

The United States government isn’t technically a “democracy.” Actually, the United States government acts more like a republic. In a republic, power is still in a body of citizens. People in this type of government elect representatives who speak for the citizens. That way, opposed to “mob rule” in a true democracy, everyone still has equal representation in their government. So how does this connect to young voters?

Each state has a certain number of representatives depending on its population. Each state is entitled to at least one representative. This allows citizens to voice their opinion to their representatives who can then relay that information to the government. This makes finding the right representative for your state vital if citizens want to have a say in how our government works.

Before you can elect anyone for office, you should learn what topics impact you. This means that you’re going to have to do some research. Most representatives and senators have dedicated websites for their campaigns that highlight their goals for their term. All representatives lean toward a political party that makes it easier to see where you are on the political spectrum. Although there are many parties, typically most Democrats believe that power should be in a large central government. Republicans, however, believe that power should stay with individual citizens. Either way, understanding the difference between the parties and learning where you stand on matters can be important for the ballots.

All representatives serve a two-year period in the House of Representatives. That means during the mid-term elections, voting for the House of Representatives is open. One-third of the Senate is also open for the elections because senators serve a six-year term. Most governors of state also are elected during midterms.

Because representatives only serve for two years; midterms can be vital in changing how the government works. If enough representatives lean towards one particular party or another, it could affect how much power the president has during his time in the White House. Not only that, representatives, senators, and governors can usually impact the problems that are in your community better than the president. This makes voting all that more important if you believe that there is something you’d like to change within your community. Millennials (And generation Z) like you can greatly affect midterms if… they ever voted.

Millennials make up the smallest amount of voters in the United States. In 2016 for example, only around 24 million young people (18-29) voted. For comparison, if all 74 million millennials and most of generation Z voted in this year’s midterm, they could completely overturn the voting results. But in order for that to happen, people have to vote first.

There are many ways you can actively be involved in our country. The presidential elections are important. But, midterms are as well. Younger voters could make drastic changes if they ever decided to make a difference. So, if you ever think about voting, know that you may just be the reason something changes in your community.

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