On November 6th, a wave of new, young voters will have the option to participate in the 2018 midterm elections. Among this wave are a number of Boys’ Latin seniors who are considering their new role as voters in local elections.
“I have not decided yet, but I would like to [vote],” said Senior Myles Davis. But Davis is not the only undecided voter. According to the United States Census Bureau, the 18-23 age range is the least represented demographic in both presidential and midterm elections, the latter of which is largely overlooked by this group of voters .
“Generally speaking, younger people ignore midterm elections. They are rarely as flashy and exciting as presidential ones,” said Upper School History Department Chair Mr.Osborn. Midterm elections are relatively routine compared to the spectacle and daily updates of national candidates. Local ads are often the only information one sees about the candidates in their respective elections. The combination of the low production quality of these ads and the perceived unimportance of the positions does not catch the young person’s’ eye like national elections do.
The United States Census Bureau reports that only 36% of eligible voters took part in the 2014 midterm election. The upcoming midterm elections could direct the course of national policy for the next four years, yet even taking into account the immense importance of this election, the belief that a single vote doesn’t matter is shared across multiple voter demographics. According to the Pew Research Center , 15 percent of registered voters who abstained from voting felt that their vote would make little to no impact on the outcome of the election.
When asked about the weight of his vote, Senior Myles Davis was cautiously optimistic. “The tiniest bit, but something tiny is better than nothing,” he said. Similar optimistic viewpoints may be hard to come across, but they are the backbone of American democracy.
Senior Luke Fisher agrees. “I think it is important for every American citizen to have a say in who runs our country, or who runs the city, or state,” he said.