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OPINION: Young adults have the voting power to enact change



Brynn Carnesecca | Lehi Free Press 

​This past week, I had the opportunity to attend my first caucus meeting. Upon arrival, I was eager to get involved in the grassroots election system, and excited to have a part in the community. However, my surprise quickly set in as I watched many families, couples and individuals, all older than myself, file into the auditorium. Where were all the young people? 

This phenomenon is not limited to Lehi, with the term “young voter apathy” being used nationally to describe the lack of political interest from individuals in the 18-29 age group. Recent data from the United States Elections Project reveals that around 43% of young adults participated in the presidential elections in the last few years, as compared to those in the 45-59 and 60+ age groups reaching over 65% participation. Young voter apathy has been on the rise, with no definite causes to blame. 

Some researchers suggest it could be due to the media portrayal of politics. At a moment’s notice, young adults can browse the internet for updates on political developments. This oversaturation of political conversations can potentially lead young adults to disinterest in election seasons, caucuses and political matters as a whole. 

“Social media is very one sided,” said college student Broc Cuartas. “It is very biased, at least on my feed.” 

Other researchers point to a sense of hopelessness. In recent surveys, many young adults feel as though the current political state of the nation is beyond repair. 

“Sometimes voting can feel fruitless,” said college student Britta Hilton. With this idea being shared by many young adults, it is easy to understand why this age group may feel a disinterest or apathy to politics and voting. 


Additionally, many young adults are attending college in a different state than they are registered in. Oftentimes it can be difficult to change their registration. Others may have a lack of information at their universities and may be unaware of ongoing political events. 

While all of these concerns and causes for young voter apathy are plausible, they simply do not outweigh the need for young voices in politics. In current politics, much power lies in the older generations. Admittedly, it is true that increased life experience brings additional perspective to the state of the nation and potential candidates for government positions. But we still need the influence of young adults at these meetings. 

To run a successful democracy, we must be willing and able to listen to differing opinions, and be able to form our own opinions with research and empathy. Involvement in government affairs is key to encouraging young adults to form opinions about policy and political candidates. Undoubtedly, it is true that we must listen to those with more experience than us. Without their strong voices, we would lose a significant piece of our moral core. 

“With a politician’s age there does come a lot of wisdom, but we also need to have more young adults involved,” Britta expressed. 

We must be willing to take the reins, become informed about the ongoing affairs of our country, and defend what we know and believe to be true. 

I urge every young adult to take a stand, recognize the power we hold, and be a part of the change. Instead of reposting a viral video about America or allowing frivolous political matters to be the height of dinnertime conversation, we must take a stand. 

“If we want to change politics and government, young people need to get involved,” Britta said. 

To all the young voters, we have real power. It is up to us to develop good citizenship habits and to become involved in the inner workings of America. 


To echo Martin Luther King Jr’s words, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” Let us remember to raise our voices about things that matter. Voting matters, being informed matters and, yes, attending political meetings matters. Silence takes away our power. It is important for young people to be involved in politics, “because we are the future, and we need to be more involved,” Broc expressed. Together, we can stop the spread of young voter apathy and support the United States in heading toward a brighter future.

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