As the midterm elections come to a close, we can see how big of an impact voting can have on the policies and laws that we support or want to keep. Youth are especially learning the importance of their voice in the political world as this was the first election that many members of Gen Z got to participate in.
“I realized that it’s important for me to vote for someone who has the same concerns, issues and standpoints as me,” said Kayla Sayles, a junior at Glendale Community College. “If I didn’t vote, I don’t get to complain about the way America is going. Why would I complain and I didn’t at least try to get my voice out?,” Sayles said.
Some of the major concerns of youth voters include racial equality, environment, inflation and economy and the woman’s right to choose, according to a NSHSS national study.
According to CIRCLE (Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement) the youth turnout was the second highest in the last three decades. The study reported that 27 percent of youth age 18-29 ended up casting a ballot.
“As a young Black woman, I am mostly concerned for the lack of outrage of the mistreatment of Black women and the lack of representation of women and POC,” said Alexis Williams, a sophomore at East West University.
Many Illinois residents feared Darren Bailey, a candidate for Illinois governor, being elected and making major changes such as making abortions illegal.
“I’m worried [about] women’s rights to have an abortion. It’s already off the tables for a lot of people,” said Abra Richardson, a junior at Columbia College Chicago. “I’m worried about it for Illinois specifically because we are the safety net for the entire midwest.”
In order to address the many concerns that there are, we as youth need to be voting and getting our voices heard, which many of us took the opportunity to do. We’re the faces of the future and it’s up to us to step up and make our presence felt by the older generations.
By Cierra Lemott, Junior, Columbia College Chicago
Instagram: @cece.kodak / @kodakscamera
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