We the Future


By Jordan Owens

In 1971, the 26th amendment was ratified lowering the voting age to 18, yet almost 50 years later young people choose not to vote.

“We want young people to vote for a couple of reasons. One reason is that they make up so much of the population now,” says former Georgia State Rep. Deborah Gonzalez. “And the second reason why young people need to vote is that they are voting for their future.”

In the past 48 years, voting rates have dropped nearly 15 percent among people 18 to 29. Not only do Millennials and some of Generation Z choose not to play a part in our democracy, but they also seem to only vote in the Presidential elections.

“Every election is important because every election we are electing different people for different seats, and we need those votes to make our democracy work,” Gonzalez says.

Even though young people make up half of the voting population, they have the lowest voting rates out of all the age groups in the U.S.

With easy access to the internet, there is no need for the excuse “I don’t understand” to ignore these rights that are given. There are many websites, like The New York Times, that give information on candidates and other issues. Youtube can also be used as a way to see debates and speeches made by candidates.

Some people think what is going on in our government will not affect them only because it is not now. The truth is many laws put into effect now will not affect people immediately, instead, they will most likely not feel the consequences for at least five years.

Making that kind of life change starts now. This is the world that the older generations are leaving behind. “Fifty-four percent of Georgia Representatives and Senators list their occupation as retired, and it gives a sense of just how old they are,” says Gonzalez.

The generations that can do something about it has to. If this generation does not, then there will never be any progress, and the future generations will get stuck repeating the same history.

Voting in elections start with registering. Some high schools and colleges let their students register there, and anyone else can go online. After getting informed, people can then vote on the person who best matches their views.

Gonzalez says, “It’s very important for [young people] to get involved now ’cause it’s about them.”