The Young Vote: How we can make an impact in the 2020 election

Headshot+-+Senior+Head+Graphic+Design+Editor+Tessa+Killen

Lexie Crawford

Headshot – Senior Head Graphic Design Editor Tessa Killen

Turning 18 is an immense, upcoming– or reached– milestone that many students will be achieving this year. This milestone unlocks the ability to buy a house, get married, gamble your tuition away in Vegas, and vote.

Imagine walking into a private voting booth and filling out your ballot, marking the page with a No. 2 pencil like a standardized test, and proudly wearing the glossy “I Voted” sticker for the rest of the day. 

However, with an estimated 245,934,970 adults, or eligible voters, in the US, your vote may seem small and meaningless. 

Wrong!

According to the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE), 23.7 million youth-voters participated and made up an approximate one-fifth of the electorate in the 2016 presidential election. Additionally, there was a 50% voter turnout for citizens in the 18 to 29 age bracket.

Sounds like quite the impact, right? Not exactly. 

According to the Campus Vote Project, Millenials and Gen Z’s will have the largest population of eligible voters for the 2020 election but have consistently displayed lower voting rates– which forfeits the potentially largest share of the electorate. 

With political parties set aside, young voters need to understand that they will be setting forth the future of the United States. They will be establishing an eventuality that will influence their lives the most. For most, they will be living out this future for their entire lives. 

A single vote could alter this nation in such drastic ways. A mark on a ballot in 2020 could come back from your rearview mirror in 2024, 2028, and so on. The choice to not vote can do the same. 

Avoid the regret of not voting! Avoid looking back at 2020 and thinking: “Wow, why didn’t I stand up for this then?”

The only way to vote is by registering first. To be eligible to register in Kentucky, you must:

  • Be a citizen of the US 
  • Be a resident of Kentucky
  • Be a resident of your current county for at least 28 days before the election
  • Turn the age of 18 either before or on the date of the general election
  • Not be a convicted felon
  • Not be deemed “mentally incompetent” in an official court of law
  • Not have claimed the right to vote anywhere outside of Kentucky

The Commonwealth of Kentucky offers an online voter registration that is open until October 5th for the November 3rd, 2020, general election. To use the online registration, you must have a social security number. However, if you do not have a social security number, you can do a mail-in registration form. 

We have the opportunity to have our voices heard. We have the opportunity to make a change. We have the opportunity to create a surge in the electorate. 

 

Links:

Online registration: https://vrsws.sos.ky.gov/ovrweb/

Mail-in registration form: https://elect.ky.gov/SiteCollectionDocuments/Register%20to%20Vote/Kentucky%20Voter%20Registration%20Card.pdf