The Importance of Young Voters

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Adventures in Wildwood
September 23, 2021

Young people are a huge source of support for elections, locally, statewide, and nationally. That being said, they are also one of the most difficult demographics to get engaged in politics. While Generation Z makes up the largest group of future voters, there seems to be a great variance in their perspectives on voting. Taking a look at the students, here, Mendham High School highlights the wavering thoughts on the importance of voting.

In the most recent election for New Jersey governor, incumbent Phil Murphy won by just 73,000 votes ( Voter turnout was reported to be the lowest in several years. Why is this? Politics have become increasingly more polarized. Due to this, many people have become turned off from the ever-growing intensity. Many young voters have yet to be convinced that their vote matters. In a small survey sent out to the senior class of Mendham High School, 17.4% of participants reported that they did not care about being politically active. 50% of the eligible voters who answered the survey, said that they did not vote in the most recent election. The reason varied from pure lack of knowledge in regards to the election, to complete disinterest. Almost ¾ of the respondents answered they would consider their political activity little to none. Yet only two of these people answered that their vote is not important in the modern political climate saying that, “it is only one of many.”

In this age of technology, people should not have to worry about finding information on the coming elections yet voter turnout has exponentially decreased in the last 30 years. While the number of active voters keeps slipping, the importance of these votes does not waver. Mr. Dowler, a history teacher at Mendham High School, explained that “when the younger demographic does vote, it does sway the election.” Whether it feels like one vote truly makes a difference or not, the greater impact is by younger voters coming together. If everyone has a mindset that their vote does not matter, then the change that can be achieved through unity will cease to exist. Mr. Dowler went on to explain this further, saying that younger people, “tend to be more liberal voters for the most part.” Emphasizing that when they do turn out for elections, the results can greatly change. “A lot of younger people did not vote in the 2021 [gubernatorial] race.” The impact of these is evident in Governor Phil Murphy only winning by a slim .81% margin.

We live in a time of great political turmoil and uproar. Trying to put a foot into politics can seem like an incredibly daunting and intimidating task. Regardless of political beliefs, the ability to vote is a right many people across the globe do not have. It should not be taken for granted. Young voters can impact election results greatly, and therefore enact permanent, possibly national, change. There is strength in numbers. Every single vote matters.