Following National Voter Registration Day on Tuesday, Sept. 27, The Setonian wants to remind students to vote.
We call out students specifically because people between the ages of 18 and 35 – Millennials, they call us – have traditionally dropped the ball when it comes to deciding on the country’s commander-in-chief. That needs to change, as our generation has as much say as any other.
Millennials now wield as much political power as the Baby Boomers (ages 52-70), with each demographic representing approximately 31 percent of voters, according to an analysis of U.S. census data by the Pew Research Center. By comparison, the Silent/Greatest Generation (ages 71+) makes up about 12 percent of voters, while Generation X (ages 36-51) roughly totals 25 percent.
The Baby Boomer population hit its high in 2004, but has been trending downward since. Simultaneously, as more people turn 18, the number of Millennials has increased. The problem is that in the case of Pew’s data, voter population is synonymous with the potential electorate, not the actual total that shows up to the polls.
While Millennials may have electoral power, they have refrained from using it. According to Pew, voters between 18 and 29 made up 19 percent of the actual electorate in the 2012 election, with only 46 percent of Millennials casting a ballot. By contrast, 72 percent of the Silent/Greatest Generation showed up.
The idea that young people do n’t care about politics has been statistically supported. “Kids” routinely underwhelm at the polls.
That needs to change this year in what could be a course-altering election for this country. The potential is there – practically all Millennials are old enough to vote for the first time – but again, potential is not equivalent to results.
As “The Voice of the Seton Hall Community,” we urge you to prove the perception of Millennials wrong and exercise a right that not everyone in this world has.
Get out there and vote this November – the deadline to register is Oct. 18 in New Jersey!
The Voice is intended to best represent the collective opinion of The Setonian’s editorial board. It is written by The Setonian’s Editor-in-Chief and Managing Editor.