With 12,000 Americans turning 18 every day, it’s more important than ever for young people to feel empowered to set the course for our country by making their voices heard at the ballot box. Many organizations like The League of Women Voters have become to engage young people in the political process and inspire participation. The millennial generation is the largest and most diverse in the United States – 93 million strong, 43% from communities of color, outnumbering even the baby boomers. Despite making up more than one-third of the population and holding the power to become the most influential voting bloc in the country, young people are frustrated with the political process and are opting out of participating.
Millennials often get a bad reputation, portrayed in the media as spoiled, lazy and entitled. The truth of the matter, though, is that youth have inherited some overwhelming problems from previous generations. They’ve also inherited a bitingly partisan, polarized political system that seems to be stuck in gridlock more often than not. We’ve questioned our ability to have an impact and to make a difference through official channels, as evidenced by the fact that 23% of eligible voters 18-29 voted in 2014, in contrast to the 87% who made a difference by donating to or volunteering with a charity last year.
We will continue to focus on making sure that all young people are registered to vote; have access to all of the information they need to go to the polls as informed voters; and feel empowered to participate and make an impact through civil engagement.
We will work with cultural leaders to raise awareness about elections and the impact young people can have by voting. We will enhance our technology and adapt our outreach strategies to meet young people where they are – online – to cultivate a stronger culture of civic participation.
The following links are available for more information:
Heading Off to College?
Don't lose track of voting information – here's some reasons why!
Now More Than Ever...
Quick Facts about the Youth Vote
Never Guess Who's Running for Office
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Cook County of Illinois
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