If and offer foreshadowing, college students may not turn out to vote at the same rates as older voters. Less so younger students: This dip may reflect a downward trend. But this year could be different.
Vikiana Petit-Homme tried to get the Boston University student to look her in the eye. She just wanted to make as many youth voices heard as possible in the most important midterm of her life.
But despite such resistance, Vikiana and thousands of others like her across the country persisted in urging their peers to vote. The effort appears to have paid off. They still have a ways to go — their elders vote at far higher rates, and youth turnout was lower in than other recent midterms, so improving on that was not terribly hard.
The surge in youth turnout stems in part from fear — about school shootings, the state of politics, and the direction of the country. But it also comes from a collective desire to support each other and make positive change at a time when many feel their lives are quite literally on the line.
This cycle proved different thanks in large part to two events: Parkland in particular catalyzed a new generation of get-out-the-vote activists who, as students themselves, proved more effective at persuading their peers that their vote mattered.
In a closet, with fellow classmates calling their parents in hushed tones, David Hogg took out his phone and began recording in the darkness. On a living room floor the weekend after the shooting, Mr. Hogg and about two dozen other students began to plan a march on Washington. The results show a country still divided over gun control.
A statewide recount is under waybut it appears that activists did not secure Democratic, anti-NRA seats in their home state of Florida. As a Haitian-American, Vikiana sees the movement as a platform to highlight the more prevalent issue of everyday gun violence.
While her civic engagement predates March For Our Lives, she admires its power to activate many of her peers — some for the first time. Record youth tilt toward Democratic candidates The midterms laid bare a growing ideological divide between younger and older generations that will play out in and beyond.
That divide barely existed in the early s. Young people voted for Democratic House candidates by a more than 2 to 1 margin, the widest divide ever for voters under Social media platforms, companies, and celebrities stepped up get-out-the-vote efforts as well.
Holding lawmakers accountable Now the question is: Where does it go from here? As this generation of fervent young activists matures into adults, will the movement grow more powerful?
Or will it dissipate? After all, many of those students inspired by March For Our Lives, like Vikiana, are still too young to vote.
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