Age Doesn’t Mean Silence


Voting is arguably the most important right American citizens have — a right citizens of many other countries do not. That is, if you are over the age of 17. Although voting is a major factor in deciding the future of the country, minors can still use their voice in different ways to make an impact. After all, we are the future of this country!

Although voting is reserved for adults, you do not have to be 18 to make your impact on elections. You can make an impact by convincing the adults in your life to vote, or you can even try and convince people to vote for whom you think is the better candidate. Regardless of how you use your voice, it is important that you put your opinions out there because you could also help others to gain a new perspective on common issues.

One way to make your impact is to talk to friends and family about voting. According to  the Pew Research Center, only 55.7 percent of US citizens cast a ballot in the 2016 elections. This is bad because citizens are not using the power they have to select their government. Talking to your family about voting could allow you to discover if any of your family members are not voting. This could improve voter turnout. . Talking to your family could also allow you to discover what their political beliefs are, and  if you disagree, you could attempt to educate and persuade them.

Another way to  make your voice heard is through social media. Many people voice their opinions out on their social media profiles. Through social media one can  put their opinion out to millions of people within seconds. “Social media has definitely encouraged people to get out there and vote because it has stimulated passion for a lot of issues that people didn’t really care about before,”, says Parkview student Zainab Khalil. Zainab uses social media frequently and is familiar with social media and how it works. She also stated “social media has inspired me to get educated on issues that affect me or others.” When people get educated, they are more likely to educate themselves and others which would also allow voters to start voting or even change the candidate they are voting for.

Teens can also voice their opinions through protest. When a large group of people get together to speak out about an issue, it can generate curiosity in others who might not have known about those issues. It can also display the number of people who feel strongly about an issue, which could be considered smaller than it really is.  A perfect example of this is the Black Lives Matter movement. Black Lives Matter protests were organized across the United States. This encouraged many people to better educate themselves on systemic racism. You too, can protest to raise awareness for issues about which you are passionate. That way, when people educate themselves, they can vote for a candidate they feel will work to resolve the issue.

All in all, you might not be able to vote, but you can still affect elections. You can do this by spreading awareness and educating people who do vote or encouraging people to vote in the first place. Remember, your age does mean you have to stay silent!