By: Nate Thomas
The Millennial generation, made up of “America’s youth born between 1982 and 2000” (U.S. Census Bureau), is a fascinating generation. We have made amazing things, like an energy generating soccer ball, a Pacific Garbage Patch cleaner, wearable technology to help Alzheimer’s patients, the list goes on and on and on. So why, when we have this ability to change the world around us, why don’t millennials vote?
Voting is essential for a democratic society, like the United States to function. To choose a city council member, mayor, governor, representative, senator, congressman/woman, or President, we need to vote. The problem with Millennials, is that we don’t vote.
In the most recent Iowa Caucus, Bernie Sanders won 84 percent of the millennial votes, over Hillary Clinton’s 14 percent. This is astounding. The fact that one generation can get behind a candidate enough to almost completely wipe another out of the picture is an awesome feat. Despite this, Clinton won the Iowa Caucus. How is this possible?
According to the Washington Post, Millennials “comprised 18 percent of the Iowa Democratic caucus electorate. (In 2008, they were 22 percent). That made them the smallest age group in Iowa.” Clinton won the Iowa Caucus because Millennials simply didn’t vote.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are over 83.1 million millennials in the United States. This accounts for over 25 percent of the nation’s population. So imagine, if almost every registered Millennial voter went out and voted. We would shape the elections around us, and be the deciding factor in almost every single state.
Now, this isn’t a pro-Sanders article. I am not going to go on some rant about how if we had gone out then Sanders would have destroyed Clinton. I am just saying that no matter who we vote for, if we went out and voted, then the polls would be more accurate than they are now. On top of that, candidates would have to spend a significant amount of their time pleasing us, and everyone knows how happy Millennials are when we get our way.
Armed with all of this information, I wanted to ask around the Fitchburg State Campus, and ask a few questions about voting. Of the 100 students that I surveyed, 33 of them were unregistered, and only 22 of them knew when the Massachusetts Primaries are going to take place. (March 1st)
When asked about what they thought was the biggest problem facing our country today. Students said they were most worried about: inequality, institutionalized racism, college debt, dirty government officials, homelessness, social policies, ignorance, ISIS, a lack of gun control, how we treat our fellow man, greed, poverty, and lack of education.
So millennials, clearly we have a grasp of what is going on in the world around us. So whether what you are most worried about is on the list I have given, or you think there is something else that you think needs to be focused on, there is only one way to solve these problems. VOTE.
VOTE for who you think will do the best job. VOTE for whose policies you like the most. VOTE, so that you can leave a lasting fingerprint on the world. VOTE so that you can say that you helped change the nation for the better.
All you need to do is vote.