The Youth Vote: "We Want To Participate"

Nov 9, 2012

INTERN CONTRIBUTION - As a young person, this I know: The last election affected our parents, but the turnout of this election can affect our parents as well as our youth.

In the past, the elderly always voted more than young people. But the voter turnout, especially for millenials, has increased since Obama stepped into the oval office.

Texas has always been a traditionalistic state;  we tend to skip voting. Texas has the lowest voter turnout per capita in the U.S.

Could that change this year?

Television media wants everyone to know that their vote counts, and that everyone should go vote.

As I asked around campus, I got different answers on students’ and professors’ feelings about this particular civic duty. Older people feel as if it is their responsibility to vote, while many younger people feel as if their vote won’t count.

I did get an interesting answer from one student, Justin R., who said “if we don’t vote, we can’t complain.” Also I asked, “If Obama weren’t running would you still have voted?” “Probably, because I feel it’s my duty to vote. If we want things done, we have to  take part and quit being lazy.” 

There’s a ‘nurture’ component to party lines, as well. If a students’ parents are republicans, most will say they’re a republican, too.

The television media also plays a role. I’ve personally noticed that since Obama took office, TV networks like BET, MTV, VH1 have commercials urging youth to go vote. The youth still have a long way to go to reach turnout numbers that match the more established among us, but I think the media has impacted young voter turnout positively.

When asked if students feel the need to vote, all of them answered that they actually want to participate in this election.