Featured photo by Madison Heiser

As Americans’ party affiliations and ideologies become increasingly polarized as the next presidential election approaches, voting (specifically among younger citizens) has become even more essential to preserve the functionality of the U.S.’ political system. 

According to a June 2020 study by the Pew Research Center, the recent COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated the growing ideological divide between America’s two major political parties. Republicans and democrats are fiercely divided in regard to the U.S. government’s handling of the Coronavirus concerns, creating a point of contention sure to be pivotal in the results of the upcoming general election in November. 

COVID-19 is only one of a series of issues in recent years that has contributed to a more polarized American political demographic. 

One generation seemingly less affected by party polarization is the American youth. According to a 2018 study from Tufts University, only 56% of citizens aged 18-24 choose to identify with a political party. Additionally, those identifying as independent make up approximately one third of that demographic, even trumping those who identify as republican by more than 10%. 

Young Americans are not only becoming less politically divided, but they’re showing up to the polls in greater numbers. The U.S. Census Bureau reported a nearly 16% increase in youth voter turnout between the 2014 and 2018 midterm elections. 

Considering 18 to 24-year-olds make up approximately one tenth of the U.S. population, youth voters have the potential to make an enormous impact on the 2020 presidential election results – but only if they keep showing up to vote. 

This year also marks the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 18th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote in the U.S. This may serve to inspire American women, both young and old, to march to the polls once again in an effort to seek further progression of American society out of the marked disaster it has seemed to become in the past several months.

With the push to vote comes a push to stay educated about the U.S.’ current political affairs, as well as which candidates best support each voter’s hopes for the future of the country. Staying informed and determining which candidate to vote for does not have to be difficult; there are countless resources available to help streamline the process and increase voter turnout among all eligible Americans. 

Websites such as isidewith.com help citizens determine which candidates’ platforms best fit their ideologies, making the voting decision less harrowing and more easily accessible for everyone. Every U.S. citizen who is willing and able should make sure they are registered to vote in the upcoming election. Citizens can check their voter registration status at vote.org/am-i-registered-to-vote/. 

The 2020 presidential election presents a unique opportunity for the youth voters of America to showcase their strength in both numbers and political passion. 

In an era racked with social turmoil, racial divides and employment complications, many young Americans are angry. They are tired of politicians bent on bringing each other down instead of lifting the nation up. They want to incite change – not only for a better present, but for a better future, as well. The only way to make that happen is to exercise political participation, to carry out one of America’s most cherished, universal liberties: vote.

32 COMMENTS

  1. The age old adage of “the children are our future” is absolutely true. As someone that feels that this whole pandemic has been made worse by the “great divide” that is our government, I am excited to know that more and more of today’s youth are independent. Thank you for the inspiring and eloquently written article. Every vote counts and change starts with us.

    • I don’t understand how trend can’t be interested in politics. You don’t to be all out about it but it’s affects all of our lives

  2. This is very interesting. I honestly did not know how big the population of independent young voters was. It’s great to know that people my age are starting to realize how important it is to vote and stay educated on U.S. politics. Also, thanks for providing links to different resources. They could really help someone who wants to have a better understanding of politics but doesn’t know where to start.

  3. This year has been rough so far to say the very least. I’m now expired than ever to go out and vote for a leader that can make our world a better place for all. I hope we will have a brighter future with smiles from everybody. Thank you for writing this article and inspiring more people to vote.

  4. This year has not been wonderful to say the very least. I hope we will have a future that is brighter than the sun. This article has inspired me to vote and I thank you for that. I will vote for a leader that is worthy to deal with current issues.

  5. As political divide is at an all time high between the two party system, it is more important than ever for young Americans to stay involved and educated with decisions that they will make that effect their lives, such as voting.

  6. I completely agree with how our youth needs to start voting because there won’t be a change if we don’t start voting for what is right. I was not aware that it was the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 18th amendment, and it just really inspired me to vote, but I’m not of age yet.

  7. As our country goes through so much chaos and goes into so much divide between the two parties and that young voters are very important,

  8. This very true, at least for me. I am sick and tired of old rivalries between politicians, and their attempts to put each other down instead of actually doing their job bettering the nation of people, who they now have control over, but only with the people’s consent.

  9. This article goes on to help show why it’s important to let the youth be shown the political world and why they need to be able to make their own voting choice. After all, the future of the world is in the hands of the next generation.

  10. It’s uplifting to see the younger demographic getting out to vote. Hopefully, this will bring the change to the American political landscape that we have been needing for a long time.

  11. The young generation is what will decide our future…this is the time for us to…GROW UP this election could make or break a lot

  12. I like that you talked about how important it is that young Americans vote. It is important that college students understand this and I find your article very encouraging to those who might not vote. I also like that you include the isidewith.com resource.

  13. It is true that many politicians are trying to bring each other down and focus less on the nation. If you look at many advertisements for their campaign it is mostly saying negative things about another politicians.

  14. I enjoyed reading this article, simply because all of the good information that came from it. I also think people need to get out and vote, because their vote does matter

  15. Politicians are starting to care less and less about the country and the people and just focus and going head to head with each other. They talk about other politicians and say the negatives about them.

  16. I’m very glad you wrote this article. I not only agree with you but I also believe that this provided a lot of important information for people who may not be as educated or may be conflicted on the voting situation.

  17. Wonderful Article! I was surprised to learn how big the young voters population is! This is awesome and I hope and pray that there are more young voters at the polls this year! America needs you!

  18. There is so much negativity in the political world that it is hard not to want to participate in making a change. This was highlighted very well!

  19. I hope this year youth voter turnout is greater than ever before because the youth have the power and voice everyone else has. Nevertheless, we need more youth to be involved due to this pandemic and some people being hospitalized and sick and not being able to vote.

  20. I hope this year our youth voter turnout is greater than any year before. Nevertheless, we need our youth to be more involved in politics to make up for the people who are not able to vote in this upcoming election due to their sickness and being hospitalized.

  21. I love how this article pointed out the importance of voting. Our generation is changing the tides and taking the civic duty of voting seriously and I’m glad to see it!

  22. Although not fully mentioned in the article, 2020 marks the first year Generation Z is eligible to vote. I recently read another article for a class explaining how this uprising generation has proven to be one of the most educated politically, culturally, and socially. With this advantage, I believe this year’s election will have a substantial change and impact in votes compared to those from the past.

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