In less than a year, the United States will be electing its 45th president. However, will the elections be truly representative of the population? The statistics say no.
Those between 18 to 24 years of age have a significantly lower voter turnout, meaning they are being greatly underrepresented. This has been the case for decades, and it begs the question: why aren’t young people voting?
One of the biggest problems seems to be that the young feel that they don’t know enough to get involved in the political world. After all, a lot of what is discussed and debated does not have any direct effect on them. Issues like Social Security and foreign policy may not be very high on their list of concerns when they are in the midst of a grueling battle against college debt and struggling to find a job.
Another contributor to the poor voter turnout may be the fact that young adults tend to move around more frequently. As a result, they feel less attached to their community and less motivated to try and make an impact. Voting is also much harder for college students; in order to vote away from home, registering to vote is a chore. In fact, many do not even know how to register if they are attending a college away from their home state. In an attempt to eradicate this problem, here’s a quick tutorial on how to register to vote:
NOTE: Because students can choose to register to vote in either their home state or their college’s state, Massachusetts will be used in the following example.
1. Voting in Massachusetts
First, register to vote. If your signature is on file with the Registry of Motor Vehicles, you qualify to use the online application to register, update your address, and change your party.
Otherwise, you will need to fill out the voter registration form and deliver it to your local election official, whose address is listed below.
525 WASHINGTON ST
WELLESLEY, MA 02482
2. Voting in your home state
If you are unable to make it home to vote, you will need to request an absentee ballot. Because voting is different in every state, you will have to contact your local government and see what their process is to obtaining an absentee ballot. One you have received it, you can simply fill it out and mail it back to your local election officials.