Today marks a reason to celebrate for young voters“Voting is the foundation stone for political action. The basic elements so vital to advancement can only be achieved by seeking redress from government at local, state, and federal levels. To do this the vote is essential.”
-Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
March 23 marks the anniversary of the 26th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which lowered the voting age to 18. In celebration, it's a great time for 18 year olds to get registered to vote. Registration is easy, and can be done completely online
In 1972 when the 26th Amendment first took effect, turnout among 18-24 year olds across the country was at 50%. In the 2012 presidential election - a year when young voters were relatively highly mobilized - that turnout still measured just 41%. Every day, 12,000 Americans turn 18. The millennial generation that includes this age group is the largest in the nation's history, with roughly 86 million members, more than even the Baby Boomers. Millennials have the potential to be the largest voting bloc in the country, however, only a fraction of eligible young people are voting regularly. Even in 2012, an estimated 30 million 18-29 year olds did not vote. Registering is the first step to voting, and can be done anytime, online, in person, or by mail.
“The importance of this right cannot be overstated in a democratic system where voting is an act of self-definition and an expression of deeply held personal beliefs. It is also not solely a personal right without the potential for great societal consequence…the votes of the few can change the course of the nation.”
-Minnesota District Judge Jay Quam