The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

Young voters hold a very powerful weapon

Photo illustration (Raphael Richardson | The Union)

When I turned 18, I recognized I now yielded a new power.


At the time I asked myself, is one person’s vote really that important?

I now know it is. My generation and I have tremendous political power.

According to Brookings, younger generations in the 2022 midterm election voted heavily for Democrats, allowing the left-wing political party to win the U.S. Senate and many battleground state elections.

The Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, or CIRCLE, reports young voter turnout was “the second-highest level of youth participation in at least 30 years,” during the 2022 midterms.

This is a prime example of the genuine change and power the younger generation’s voice has on the national stage.

CIRCLE also reports young voters played a large part in blocking anti-abortion laws from being implemented in the reddest of Republican states. Generation Z and millennials were the only age group to cite abortion rights as a number one issue.

But it’s not necessarily Democrats young people are voting for, as not all youth voting trends fall within party lines. The younger generation rather shares beliefs that coincide with Democrats, attracting their vote.

From climate change to abortion and healthcare, my generation is using their power of voting to support their beliefs in elections.

Beyond elections, the younger generation holds protests and marches for their beliefs.

Yet the enthusiasm and power of the younger generations are not supported by certain people.

Republican presidential candidate and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy said the voting age in the U.S. should be raised.

“There needs to be some civic experience you need to have gone through in order to actually vote,” Ramaswamy said in an article by Politico. “That experience could be living seven years as an adult and voting at age 25.”

According to the New Republic, at least 15 Republican states introduced legislation to disenfranchise young voters by changing the rules of using student IDs in voting booths and requiring out-of-state college students to vote absentee in their hometowns in Wisconsin.

This type of action and rhetoric from the GOP shows some candidates are willing to hurt our constitutional rights to vote to further their agendas, rather than tapping into the powerful potential of younger voters.

The reason they want to do that is not because we simply vote for Democrats but because of the unity and eagerness of us younger voters when it comes to voting for their beliefs.

Although Democrats understand the powerful potential of younger votes, they still split from the concerns of the younger generation such as foreign policy issues.

One of those issues is the Israel-Hamas war.

As reported by NPR and ABC News, younger voters are more supportive of Palestine and have negative feelings about the U.S.’s support and funding of the Israeli government.

Despite clear messaging from younger voters U.S. President Joe Biden and other Democratic politicians support Israel’s war and continue voting on funding for the Israeli Defense Forces.

This shows despite Democrats having past support from young voters, they are failing to respect and recognize the power of the youth vote and will get hurt by this in the next election.

This failure might allow young voters to significantly influence Democrats’ policies in the future, adding more to the youngsters’ ever-growing power.

So when I think about why my vote counts and how much power my generation has, I remember Republican lawmakers are doing so much to suppress our votes while Democrats take the youth vote for granted, that misplaced confidence could hurt them because they support certain policies.

I also remember the words of Uncle Ben from Spider-Man.

“With great power comes great responsibility.”

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