Demi Lawrence is a freshman telecommunications journalism major and writes "Demi's Diems" for The Daily News. Her views do not necessarily agree with those of the newspaper. Write to Demi at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pew Research Center defines “Millennials” as those aged 22-37, and also says that as of April 2016, Millennials made up 31 percent of the voter pool with a population of 69.2 million. This is roughly the same percentage the Baby Boomer’s made up, the generation of people born between 1945 and the mid 60s.
There’s a massive problem though: In the 2016 presidential election, only 46 percent of Millennials voted compared to 72 percent of Baby Boomers.
Almost immediately after turning 18, my dad pried at me to register to vote. Of course I planned to, but I never understood how important voting was until I realized that some people, my age specifically, don’t. Why do we not? We complain so much about issues in our nation, you’d think we’d want to do anything we could to change it.
In an article published by The Washington Post, it was found that some don’t vote out of a distrust for American government and voting systems. Some fear that their vote will be rigged or miscounted, and according to a Gallup Poll conducted two weeks before 2016 Election Day, a mere 35 percent of the American voting population were “very confident” that their vote would be counted accurately.
The corruptness of American politics is a problem all in its own, but a simple fix to a larger problem than distrusting the government is to voice your opinion. We as Americans are granted the right to vote as a way of having a say in what happens in our nation. If you don’t like what someone is doing, vote for someone else. If you love actions that a person is taking for our country, vote to keep them in. It’s pretty cut and dry, yet some people still don’t do it.
I registered to vote in five minutes, on my laptop in Jamba Juice in between classes. My information got mailed to my home address in three to five business days, and that was it. I am able to vote now. All it takes is a Google search to equip yourself with your right to have a say in what happens in your nation.
The hashtag #VoteThemOut has become popular in wake of the Parkland massacre that struck Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School this past Valentine’s Day. Simply put, this movement is a display that shows Millennials and Generation Z have had enough. The activist students of Stoneman Douglas have been ridiculed and beaten down by older politicians who want to resist gun reform, being silenced on the basis of being “too young” to be able to form an educated opinion on the issue.
If they are old enough to be gunned down by a former student with an assault rifle, and old enough to watch their classmates be senselessly murdered, they are old enough to have an opinion on gun reform.
The voters are coming, the voters are coming. I can almost hear it being voiced in alleyways, shouted with charisma and strength. It almost has a revolutionary-esque sound to it. That’s because this is the revolution. We have a voice, and whether or not we choose to use it is our responsibility.
People in power should be scared. Our generation is the start of something big, something great that our kids and grandkids will read about in their history textbooks. That “something," though, starts with purposeful action. This action is voting.
Vote. Vote for the things you wish to change, vote for the things you want to stay stagnant. Vote for those who died fighting for our right to vote. Vote for those who died at the hands of injustice. If you don’t know how to register, ask. If you have questions about your polling location, or what candidates think about certain topics, ask. Ask your parents, ask your friends, ask Google. Educate yourself to be the change you rant so much about wanting so badly on Twitter.
No matter what you believe should be done about the ever-prominent issue of gun violence, or any other issue deemed “controversial,” get to your polling station when elections roll around and show America what you stand for. This isn’t just about gun reform, its about change. So change or keep whatever you deem is “right” or “valid” about our country. Raise the percentage of Millennials and members of Generation Z who voted in the 2016 Presidential Election, because honestly less than half of us is pretty pathetic to me.
They call us “lazy” and “uninformed.” They expect us to flop flat on our face and be the laughing stock generations. Resist, respond. Change their minds, because the voters are coming. And we will #VoteThemOut.