I have come across quite a few young people that seem disgruntled with our election process. Actually, let me not limit this to young people. I have come across quite a few people that seem disgruntled with our election process. They look to the last presidential election to support their argument that their vote does not matter. To them it is simple, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote but lost the presidential election, a clear indicator that their votes did not matter.
What I have also found is that disgruntled young people of color are not moved by the stories that made me so proud to register and exercise my right to vote. While young African-American people recognize the instrumental role of the civil rights movement in our ability to enjoy some basic liberties, they seem too far removed to really appreciate the sacrifices made for us to even be afforded the right to vote. So, the question becomes, how do we connect with young people so that they will remain fired up to vote even when they are not necessarily fired up about the candidates.
I decided to search for data that supported my gut feeling that young people absolutely matter when it comes to elections. It did not take long to find what I was looking for! I was shocked and elated at the same time. While all votes matter, the data makes it abundantly clear that young votes realllllly matter.
Young people are credited with President Obama’s win in 2012. According to the data, President Obama won 67% of the youth vote nationally. Studies show that had Mitt Romney been able to split the youth vote in some key states in 2012, President Obama may not have served a second term. So, there is your proof young people! If it were not for your vote, President Obama would not have won his second term in office.
But let’s not stop there. The impact of local elections is often overlooked. Being silent at the polls means you have no say when it comes to the people that are supposed to be representing your interest right in your hometown. As an attorney, I am keenly aware of the need to pay attention to the people that we are electing to be judges, sheriffs, and district attorneys. They have a lot of power and make significant decisions when it comes to our basic liberties. Why wouldn’t you want to take advantage of an opportunity to choose the people that have these jobs? Trust me when I say elected officials pay attention to the people that are voting. If you want to be recognized, VOTE!
November is coming! Get rid of that “I DON’T MATTER” mindset! Make your presence felt! VOTE!
P.S. For those of you that have not registered to vote. ROCK THE VOTE has made it easy. Take a moment to do it now!