Every year, on your birthday, you get the chance to start something new. At 13, it is the right to call yourself a teenager, at 16 the right to drive. And finally, at 18, the right to vote. Senior year is equipped with tons of growing up, but voting takes the cake for the highest regarded birthday treat of the year. One thing to consider: how do dubs feel about their impending right to vote?
Though strong in numbers, and healthiest in stature, the youngest region of voters in America, 18-29, has proven to be the weakest in representation at the polls. The youth is a 13 percent share of the electoral consideration, but only an estimated 50 percent of these eligible voters show up to represent themselves when the day arrives. In 2020, to a vast majority of voting activists, seeing these weak statistics was disheartening, and so it began: the movement towards an eager democracy. The hashtag #govote spread like wildfire throughout the forest of social media, forging its path towards an 11 percent growth in youth voting in the following year. “It’s simple,” said North Atlanta Teacher Mrs. Quigley, “Research the items on the ballot, discover how you feel about how it will impact you and your community, and vote.”
As the march towards a truly representative democracy arises, gerrymandered obstacles flame the path. In 2022, Georgia passed the “Voting Integrity Act” or, SB202. These 98 pages outlined a plethora of new guidelines regarding the process of getting your ballot to count. “It is sort of frightening,” said senior and registered voter Henry Peck, “Democracy is on the line! GO VOTE!”
In an unprecedented and unfortunate reality, not all dubs are as disciplined as Peck, and some lack the necessary information to register themselves for the upcoming intramural election. These students have a world of impending hurdles to conquer in their last years of childhood, causing them to incidentally turn a cold shoulder to the entire idea. “It’s good that we can decide who is in power but I am not too informed on politics,” said 18-year-old Henry Wise, “I would register if the information was more widespread, but right now I am just too busy.”
When the electoral dirt settles, one thing is clear as day: age is the most divisive issue in politics today. Dr. Martin Luther King said it best, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”