There’s been a shortage of turnouts at the polls, specifically with young people. But why? The answer is simple. Youth hear that their votes are important, but they’re just being force fed facts about voting, not HOW to vote. There are other things to vote on besides the presidential election—your local elections (mayor, city council, etc.) matter also. Voices of communities grow larger when everyone votes, and that’s where change begins to happen.
In the spring of 2016, there were 321,342 registered millennials in Philadelphia alone. But only 38,686 showed up to the polls for the mayoral primary. NUMBERS MATTER!
For instance, this June in New York’s 14th district — Queens and the Bronx — Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez , 28-years old!!!!, won the Democratic primary against Rep. Joe Crowley, who had served 10 terms in Congress and was chair of the House Democratic Caucus. She beat him by only 4,000 votes, making her maybe the youngest person running for Congress in America. That proves that when young people are given a voice, they use it.
The same can happen in Philadelphia, we are a digital generation. Word spreads with good use of social media. In Pennsylvania, online registering boosts the youth vote by 3%. Youth care, despite what the media says. It’s time to let the numbers show we care.
Cyé Jacobs is a sophomore at Temple University and the digital content and social media intern for the SafeKidsStories.com #VoteThatJawn initiative.