Dominican University Hosts First College Debate 2016: Engaging America’s Youth
Young Americans are politically active, but not at the voting booth. According to a 2015 report from the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement at Tufts University, a mere 19.9 percent of 18-to 29-year-olds voted in 2014 compared to 26.6 percent in prior midterm elections. In the 2012 U.S. Presidential election, 41 percent of 18-24 year-olds voted, accounting for only 15.4 percent of the total votes cast. Yet this segment of the electorate is 75 million members strong, making them the largest potential voting bloc in the 2016 presidential election.
America’s youth care about jobs and economic growth, climate change, health care, and student debt, among many other issues. They volunteer in their communities more than any prior generation. They donate time and money to large and small organizations around the world. They have attended the 2016 rallies of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders both in opposition and support. Indeed, they are civically engaged across a spectrum of activities except one: voting.
When young people believe their voices are heard, they will become engaged citizens, who participate in the political process and actually turnout out to vote on election day.”