The Millennial Vote

The Millennial Vote

Although millennials might have a strong political presence on social media, statistics are showing a different story at the polls on Election Day.

Only 57 percent of the eligible voter population cast ballots in 2016.

United Utah Party Chair said these statistics are not new to him.

“The least involved in voting is the under 30 demographic. They tend not to own property and have children going to the schools, and many young people are college students, so they don’t even live in the place where they grew up or where they expect to be,” said Richard Davis of the United Utah Party.

Some millennials gave reasons for opting out of casting their ballot.

“It’s not a priority to me, I don’t feel like it really affects me,” Luke Bogner said.

However, some party officials gave reasons for why they think the selfie generation will have a stronger presence in the electoral process. Republican National Committeeman Thomas Wright said he still has hope in the millennial generation.

“I think millennials are just getting in the game and I think they’re learning more and more everyday the importance of their vote, and so I have a lot of faith in millennials,” Wright said.

Other young voters said their vote is important to them.

“I think voting is very important because the very aspects of society that govern how you live, even the ability to take a selfie, are governed by the different laws and regulations,” Sierra Thomander said.

Statistics showed voter turnout for Generation X and millennials increased in 2008.

“We had an uptick in voter participation in 2008 when Barack Obama ran,” Davis said.

Millennials said their voter participation is often dependent on representatives that will listen to them and make good choices.

“Not just for me, but for equality, then yeah, I would cast a vote,” said Bogner.

Party officials countered what they said with their assertion that the only way to get the representation that voters want is to first fill out the ballot.

“If you want candidates to listen to your opinion, you want them to represent your values, you have to make known your voice by casting votes at the ballot box,” Wright said.

Davis attributes a simplified voting process as a reason that should encourage younger voter participation, but he thinks millennials will have to do more than just engage on social media to make a difference.

“A huge barrier is interest and attitude. Changing this idea that if you like something on Facebook that you’ve done your job,” the Chairman said.

Wright said the right to vote is something that younger generations should not take for granted.

“Register to vote. It’s an important part of who we are as Americans. A lot of people fought and died to allow us that opportunity, and we should take that seriously and make it happen,” Wright said.

Jessica Coombs

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