Since the midterm elections in 2018, youth political activism has surged, ranging from the late-September climate change marches, all the way to higher projected voting participation among new voters.
The Atlantic, citing a Harvard study, found that 40% of eligible voters between the ages of 18-29 expressed that they were going to vote. This comes as a huge surprise, considering that this biannual Harvard study has only seen this number go over 20% twice since 1986. Looking forward to the next opportunity in which students could vote, the same Harvard study found that there was a seven-percent increase in interest for voting in party primaries since the last equivalent vote took place in 2015.
However, this trend can be inconsistent. When looking to find out how this pattern plays out, Haverford’s upperclassmen are a perfect example. Service Learning Director and organizer of the currently active voter registration program, Ms. Jini Loos explained that last year alone, 96 students registered through The Service Board’s program in addition to twelve that registered on their own— totaling a number not far from the Class of 2019’s population.
“I think that providing voter registration,” said Ms. Loos, “has made students more aware that they are now eligible to have a voice.” She explains that students seem more encouraged, “to start paying better attention to how what is happening now will actually affect the world they are inheriting.”
While Sixth Former Yeshwin Sankuratri has not noticed a significant spike in political activity, he sees it as a necessity to vote.
“[Voting is] a fundamental right every American citizen has the opportunity to exercise.”Yeshwin Sankuratri ’20
“I think it’s a fundamental right every American citizen has the opportunity to exercise,” Sankuratri said.
“I believe it [voting] is a fundamental responsibility of being a citizen and an important duty for all Americans,” Sixth Former Yan Graf said. “I have definitely seen an increase in the interest in politics from the last election, with some even going to political rallies when held nearby.”
With increasing controversy in the political world, students have begun to realize the impact of the young vote in a democratic system.
Sankuratri said, “Voting ties together our democracy and unites every American citizen, regardless of his or her culture or values, by giving the people a voice.”