BY MELISSA ESPINOZA
Photo courtesy of AP Images. Volunteers setting up a polling station for November races.
There is no better time to vote than now and with midterm elections a week away, it’s important to understand the issues at stake. The midterm elections will be held Tuesday, Nov. 6, with all 435 seats at the House of Representatives and 35 seats on the Senate up for re-election.
There has been talking about a blue and red wave, but the people who have the most power in this midterm election are the numerous young people who are now eligible to vote. In previous years, young voters have been noticeable for not showing up at the voting booths.
According to the United States census bureau, in the 2016 elections, only 43 percent of young adults voted compared to the 70.9 percent of seniors 65 and older who did. As a young adult, who is not able to cast a vote, the inability of the people who have the right to do so is surprising. Why are young people not voting in elections?
Judy Estey, a 76-year-old Rancho Mirage resident said, “I care about voting. It’s my constitutional right and I was taught that it was something important.” Voting is so important, it’s the way the public can make their voices be heard, but young people are actively not using this voice.
Many young people may not be motivated to vote because political parties have not attracted them or there is a lack of confidence in the process, believing their votes don’t matter. This mentality is shared by many young adults, but for the older generation voting seems to be something that they must do.
Ruben Martinez, a 55-year-old resident from Cathedral City said, “my father said that he would always remember the first time he voted, we were immigrants so when he finally was able to vote he said he felt proud and part of society, that’s why I always vote.”
This year there is hope that there will be a big turnout of young voters. There have been efforts made by young people to encourage young adults to register and vote in the midterm elections. But the big questions still remains, will they show up and cast their vote?
Young voters seem to lack one major thing that senior voters have, it’s caring. There should be more emphasis on how sacred and important voting is. It seems that for young people because they have the right to vote and believe they will always have it, it has become something of less importance for them. The young should be taught in school and at home how important voting really is, the impacts it has in society and the effects it has on future generations.
When you do not have the ability to cast a vote you depend on your fellow citizens to speak on your behalf, you hope that they care enough about being an active citizen in this democracy. “I’m not sure why young people don’t vote, I know why I do it. It’s my civic duty and I’m grateful to live in a country where I can have the freedom to choose, “Estey said.
For more information about candidates and propositions on the ballot this Nov. 6, visit www.sos.ca.gov/elections/upcoming-elections/general-election-november-6-2018/. Don’t miss an opportunity to let your voice be heard. Get out and vote this Nov.6.