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Why Young People Need To Vote In The Midterms

Updated: Nov 6, 2022

Written by Finnialla, one of our current world events writers, and edited by Kayla-Jane Barrie, one of our editors!


WHY VOTE?

The United States midterm elections loom over the country like a plague. The gerrymandering, rezoning, and jargon confuse voters. Politicians fight for parties instead of people and attack ads on every available space to invade every part of life. Many people have stayed off voting altogether, and I don’t blame them. It’s a nightmare for many to get to the polls and cast a ballot.


I am here to fight for people to make their voices heard, and for Gen Z to stand up. Young people need to show up to the polls this November and vote. Our lives depend on it.


Voting is a human right. We get that privilege in this country. While white males have voted since the Constitution, it hasn’t been the same for others. Everyone brings up the suffragettes, and while they fought for women’s rights, we need to remember that it was for white women’s rights. They got the vote and shut the door behind them.


For minorities, it took marches, protests, and riots before they were given the same right. Asian and Latino people weren’t allowed to vote until the 50s and 60s. Black people, especially women until the voting rights act of 1964. Native Americans until the 70s. This right was fought for by the people who came before, and truly honoring their sacrifices is voting racist white people out.


For most of America, we’re choosing between having rights or having conspiracy theorists determine our lives. From the overturn of Roe v. Wade, to gay and trans protections, to the simple act of living on a planet that isn’t flooded in thirty years, we are not just voting for people. We are voting for our lives.


Swing states including Pennsylvania, Georgia, Ohio, Arizona, and Texas help flip the House and Senate in our favor. These states have candidates that have served in office, or we have T.V. doctors, compulsive liar football players, investment bankers, and millionaires who ship migrants out of their state for publicity stunts. These candidates play with people’s lives like it’s a game of chess. It’s a constant battle to restrict more and more, to be the most controversial figure.


USING YOUR VOICE

For young people, it’s hard to think you’re represented. President Biden will be 80 this year. The average person in Congress shouldn’t have a driver’s license, let alone make the decisions for this country. These representatives don’t seem to represent us, but we have to keep fighting. If we give up, they win. They can destroy our future and never have to live with the consequences of their actions.


A litany of new voting legislation has also made it physically harder for young people to vote. According to the Leadership Conference Education Fund, “One if five young voters do not have a driver's license, which is the most common form of accepted photo ID for voting.” It also states that “Any student attending a public university will be unable to use their student ID to vote.” Restricting people based on a driver’s license gives way to take people's votes, especially young people.


However, there are organizations that are trying to change that. Gen Z For Change is a nonprofit grassroots organization that is trying to get young people registered, informed, and even put into places of government. Their use of social media helps get young people to become informed about the issues of the day, from racial and environmental justice, to LGBTQIA+ issues, and foreign affairs.


Some of those initiatives have been raising over a million dollars for abortion care after Florida Representative Matt Gaetz mocked one of its members on Twitter, filled out fake applications for anti-union stores when they fired any person who spoke up for a union so no one else could be hired, created campaigns to get Georgian people to vote in the 202 election, and helped shut down conservative run Critical Race Theory reporting websites by spamming it with Shrek p*rn.


While some may call this brash, it’s a strategy to get people’s attention, and it works. If representatives aren’t going to play fair with our rights, neither should we. Our future is too precious for us to squander it.


It’s not easy, but there are some websites to check out. Gen Z for Change has great resources for anyone wanting to spread the message of voting. It also has a place to find out how to register to vote. Ballotpedia has information about the candidates running for office and their positions in a quick summary. It also talks about bills and provisions passed on both the state and federal levels and breaks it down into user-friendly language.


I vote because I’m non-binary. These past couple of years have been a difficult time dealing with the transphobic rhetoric that spews from Washington politicians every week. I vote because without Planned Parenthood, I wouldn’t be here. My mom would have died of cervical cancer as a teenager if they hadn’t done a cancer screening on her.


I vote because if I don’t, who will?


SOURCES

Brownstein, Ronald. “What Will Happen in Georgia?” The Atlantic, Atlantic Media Company, 7 Oct. 2022, https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2022/10/democrat-gen-z-voters-georgia-2022-midterm-elections/671676/.


Anonymous. “Why Are We Making It Harder for Young People to Vote?” The Leadership Conference Education Fund, The Leadership Conference Education Fund, 30 Jan. 2019, https://civilrights.org/edfund/resource/youth-vote/.


Anonymous. “Voting Rights for Native Americans: The Right to Vote: Elections: Classroom Materials at the Library of Congress: Library of Congress.” The Library of Congress, The Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/classroom-materials/elections/right-to-vote/voting-rights-for-native-americans/.


Minnis, Terry Ao, and Mee Moua. “50 Years of the Voting Rights Act: An Asian American Perspective.” Asian Americans Advancing Justice, Asian Americans Advancing Justice, 4 Aug. 2015, https://www.advancingjustice-aajc.org/report/50-years-voting-rights-act-asian-american-perspective.


Gamboa, Suzanne. “For Latinos, 1965 Voting Rights Act Impact Came a Decade Later.” NBCNews.com, NBCUniversal News Group, 6 Aug. 2015, https://www.nbcnews.com/news/latino/latinos-1965-voting-rights-act-impact-came-decade-later-n404936.




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This piece was written by one of our current world events writers, Finnialla.


This piece was edited by one of our editors, Kayla-Jane Barrie. Reach them at @kj.poetrytherapy on Instagram!


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