Amid the political turmoil, racial tensions, and global pandemic, it is difficult to know what lies ahead. For us young adults, this uncertainty makes it feel almost impossible to imagine what a November election will look like.
Despite this difficulty, my colleagues and I at FCNL’s Young Adult Program have dedicated ourselves to ensuring that young voters have the tools they need to cast their ballot during what is shaping up to be the most important election they have yet experienced.
Despite their potential power, young adults have historically had low voter turnout rates. According to the United States Census, only 36% of eligible voters between the ages of 19 and 29 cast their votes in the 2018 midterm election.
Young adults have the power and the ideas to make significant changes in our political system.. However, voter turnout among young adults is low for many reasons. One reason is the concern that voting won’t be effective in addressing crises such as the pandemic, economic collapse, police brutality, and systemic racism.
When I engage with young adults on the topic of voting, I approach them with a “yes and” strategy. Yes, protest the injustices faced by Black and brown communities. Yes, organize a Twitter storm to call out your legislators for delaying necessary COVID-19 pandemic relief. Yes, educate your family and friends on issues of racism.
Do all these things AND cast your vote on November 3.
The last couple of months have taught us a lot, including the importance of leadership we can trust. When I personally feel frustrated and need to be motivated, I remind myself that the incoming president and members of Congress will be responsible for continuing the United States’ response to the crises we currently face. Our leadership is on the ballot.
As a young voter, one of my biggest fears for the 2020 election is that people won’t know how to vote. With the country still figuring out the safest way to vote in November, it is clear that all eligible voters need to do what they can so they can vote.
As a young voter, one of my biggest fears for the 2020 election is that people won’t know how to vote.
FCNL has partnered with HeadCount, a non-profit organization that usually registers people to vote at concerts, to create an online platform to make voting easier.
The first step in ensuring you can cast your ballot in the Nov. 3 election is to register to vote (fcnl.org/vote). If you have already registered, make sure that you confirm your address. With more states mailing ballots, it is critical that your address is current, even if you only moved a block away.
I might be nervous about this year’s election and voting process, but I have never been more confident in the power of young adults as they struggle towards a more equitable and peaceful future. With the right tools and information, we can make sure our voices are heard in November – and in subsequent elections.