Only 57 percent of the US voting population exercised their right to vote in the last Presidential election. As reported by the US Census Bureau, voting rates have historically varied according to age, with older Americans generally voting at higher rates than younger Americans. "In 2016, this was once again the case, as citizens, 65 years and older reported higher turnout (70.9 percent) than 45- to 64-year-olds (66.6 percent), 30- to 44-year-olds (58.7 percent) and 18- to 29-year-olds (46.1 percent)."
Most of us are turned off by the divisiveness of politics. The political process is disturbing and often seen as ineffective, as exemplified in the government’s response to the Coronavirus pandemic. However, not voting is letting someone else decide for you.
The outcome of this election is more crucial to US youth than any before. The condition of our earth and nation, for generations to come, is at stake. No other country has the resources nor the leadership position that the US could take on climate improvement. You need to let your voice be heard on this vital issue that will primarily affect you and your generation. Listen to what the youth movements and your peers are saying.
Hear, for example, Greta Thunberg, her speech at the UN Climate Change COP24 Conference. She founded the fridaysforfuture movement that has held demonstrations and strikes in 228 countries and involving 13 million participants. Also see her book, Our House Is On Fire. And for an introduction to other young activists and ecologists see, Beyond Greta Thunberg: the uprising of youth climate activists.
Hear them out, and then cast your vote.
Another youth issue you should check out is that concerning college debt. A great starting place is Daniel M. Johnson's excellent article, What Will It Take to Solve the Student Loan Crisis? Your participation is essential here.
In the last election, the only age category that increased its turnout was the group from 18 to 29 years old! According to VOA News: “There are plenty of signs that young Americans could play a major role in the 2020 election… their record turnout in the 2018 midterm elections, signs of political activism, and a handful of issues being used as a rallying cry, including soaring college debt, health care, and climate change, stand as evidence.” The youth vote could decide the election.
It is cool to let your voice be heard. And even cooler, to help a discouraged, apparently disinterested friend to vote. Here is the latest voting information.
If you plan to vote by mail, election officials say the most important thing to do is mail your ballot back well in advance of your state’s due date. Avoid the risk of possible post office delays and problems.
Five states—Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, and Utah—routinely conduct all-mail elections. In response to the pandemic, at least four additional states—California, Nevada, New Jersey, and Vermont—and the District of Columbia have pledged to mail out ballots to all properly registered voters for the November election. Montana says its counties may choose to send mail ballots and expand early voting for the general election.
Every state’s election rules are different. And each state has its own regulations for mail-in absentee voting. Many are still in the process of deciding how they will handle voting during the pandemic. Visit your state’s election office website to find your state election office site, and find out if you can vote by mail.
If not voting by mail, you have to follow each state’s election rules that include: voter registration (the procedure to see if you are already registered and if not, how to make the application to vote); an indication of the polling station (where you vote, generally provided with the registration); and the indication of acceptable forms of photo identification that you need to show when casting your ballot. The important matter is to take yourself and a friend through this election process and go November 3rd to cast your vote. It is easier in two.
To vote from abroad, one needs to register, requesting an absentee ballot, receive your ballot, and vote mailing in your ballot. A very helpful site is Vote from abroad, a non-partisan platform that helps US citizens vote from abroad by producing the necessary Federal forms. Note for some states, the request for the ballot must be submitted first by email and subsequently by post.
Young men and women, this is your election. The future of your planet and your education are on the ballot. You may decide the outcome. Vote and be an influencer!