Editorial: LT promotes student voice

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Position: LT’s voter registration event encouraged teens to register by providing them this opportunity.

LT held a voter registration with the League of Women’s Voters at NC on Sept. 24. All students had to do to register was complete an easy to use form and provide a valid ID or social security number, and they were rewarded with a handful of candy and a sticker. The process took most students less than five minutes to complete. Once students were registered, they received handouts with important information about voting. In total they registered 646 students.

Voting is an essential part of democracy and American society as a whole. It allows people to have a voice and contribute to the government. However, many young people feel discouraged by the voting process and are unable to vote due to long waits or being out of state for college because they are not registered. New measures have been enacted to encourage the youth to vote such as registrations in schools, and to encourage youth to break the old status quo.

There are 46 million young people between the ages of 18 and 29 eligible to vote, and only 39 million seniors, according to the The Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE). The number of youth outnumbers the number of seniors eliminating the claim that the young can not change anything.

The youth make up 21% of the voting eligible population, according to CIRCLE. Yet, in the 2016 election, 18-29 year olds had the lowest percentage of voter turnout for all age groups, as reported in the U.S. Census.

However, young people have a drive to change the world. Activist groups such as the Climate Strike and March for Our Lives are led by primarily teenagers, and are sparking change in the political climate and lobbying for legislature. The youth are inspired and passionate but they just need the tools to let them use their voice. 

The week of Sept. 23 was the first ever High School Voter Registration week. The push to help the youth participate in elections led the League of Women Voters and students to come together to make sure everyone who is eligible is registered to vote.

When teenagers and young people are registered, they are more likely to vote. That is why it is essential to offer voting registration to new voters at schools. LT is part of the movement to encourage youth participation in the government, and new student voters can have a chance to use their voice in our democracy.