Voting Information: Getting Young Adults To Vote

Tips for getting kids to vote. Ideas about the history of the youth voters.

Changes Needed to Interest Young Voters

It is a sad fact that statistically young adults in the 20 something age group are not registering to vote. Their decision not to take part in the election process is individual, but many I've spoken to feel voting is a waste of time. They feel disenfranchised from the political system that runs our country, as if their voices are mute. With the Presidential election coming up it is vital we interest these young adult in the political process.

Young adults feel alienated, as if their votes don't count. They resent the increased taxes, additional deductions for Social Security and Medicare. And yet they ignore their opportunity to express themselves. Instead of joining a political party and working to change things, they simply ignore politics. We need to bring them into the heart of the political system. The laws being made now will effect every aspect of their lives. What are they interested in?

Lowering the tax rate for middle-income earners, tax credits for child-care, paid home health leave, and income credit for stay at home mothers are some of the topics important to the twenty something generation. Often both partners are working and the children are in day care. Despite the hours they work, they see their money dwindle away in taxes from the Federal government, State and municipalities.

Is congress talking about any of this? Not much. Proposals have been made to help middle-income wage earners. The last was to end the marriage penalty tax that unfairly charges married couples more than if they were two singles living in the same house. It was defeated.

Then there are those hefty college loans. Students leave college, go into their careers, marry and start their families all with the heave load of college loans to be paid back. Interest rates of 8% or more are charged young people just starting off in life. Congress needs to find a way to help these young people who are saddled with heavy debt right after leaving college.

The political party who addresses the issues of young adults will be the one to win them over. Apathy is no excuse. The future generation is at stake. On a recent college lecture tour a former President was asked why Congress doesn't consider an amnesty plan for those who go into teaching or some other public service? That would be a win-win situation for everyone as more young, idealistic people work towards improving the lives of children, and those less fortunate.

Young working couples question why Congress can vote their own raises.Where is the check and balance system set up to prevent abuse of power? These are just some of the concerns expressed by young voters in community forums.

Vice-President Gore is appealing to young adults through his MTV interview and question and answer session. He answers the questions in an open and honest manner. This is a step in the right direction, and one Governor George w. Bush also has tried.

Youth who attended rallies for the Presidential candidates came away with a more positive attitude, even when they still weren't sure who they would vote for. The vitality and idealism of youth is needed in our political system. We have to make room for them and encourage not only their participation, but their voice. After all, it is they who will inherit the country created by Congress and the Administration.



Here are some ideas to encourage youth to participate in elections. These can be arranged by parents who are active in political parties, as well as educators. It is important to combine our resources and put political differences aside. It isn't a matter of pursing new voters for a particular party, but persuading young adults of the important to get out and vote.

1-Encourage political parties to have a youth-orientated programs with an emphasis on issues.

2-Be open to suggestions for new campaign ideas. Just because something has been done one way for decades doesn't mean it is right for the 21st century.

3-High school students should be involved in the political process through in-school forums and discussions.

4- Fund raisers are an important source of money for any one running for office, but they are often are too expensive for the average person to attend. Have fun fund raisers at a moderate cost. Picnics with family orientated games will serve a dual purpose. Funds will be raised and young adults, especially those with families, will be encouraged to participate.

5-Schools can hold mock political debates on the issues, and then mock elections.

6-Provide childcare for young adult families so they can attend political rallies.

7-Talk politics at home. You don't have to agree. The point is to let everyone have an opinion.

8-Set an example for younger adults and vote.

9-Moderately priced fund raisers to attract more youth. This includes family style picnics, and spaghetti suppers which have been successful venues for local politicans.

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