Young Voters Have a Chance to Shape Our Democracy

August 15, 2003
Younger generations often feel their voices go unheard and fail to see the importance of voting. By registering to vote however, they have a chance to express their opinions and vote for people who represent the issues that matter most to them. That’s why it is so important that young people register and vote to ignite change to create a better future.

According to a study by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, people between the ages of 18 and 30 now represent the largest potential voting block in the country, but often fail to register and vote. Their participation at the voting polls can have a huge impact on an election. The 2000 presidential election, which was decided by less than 600 votes, proved that every vote does count. Every year across this state, elections are decided by similarly small margins, and the effects on your day-to-day life are just as dramatic.

In the modern political arena, too often there is a damaging divide between candidates and young people. Candidates ignore the issues of young people because they don’t vote – and young people don’t vote because they feel their voices are not heard by candidates. By exercising their right to vote, people ensure that things that matter to them are heard by the people who represent them. Serious issues face the youth of our community – like finding a good-paying job, affording a home, paying for college, and maintaining adequate health care coverage. According to the U.S. Census, people between the ages of 18 to 34 made up 23 percent of the uninsured in 2001.

People who vote have the ability to shape the future of our democracy and our world. We must encourage all New Yorkers – and especially younger voters – to actively participate in our democratic process.

Registering is quick and easy – you can do so by calling 1-800-FOR-VOTE, by visiting www.elections.state.ny.us, or by calling the Suffolk County Board of Elections at (631) 852-4500.