The right to vote is a fundamental part of democracy, and as a young person, you have the right to know the legal defense fund voting rights information and exercise it. Unfortunately, new voters face a unique set of obstacles, including difficulties with registration, voter ID laws, and conflicts with school or work. As a result, many young people may not even be aware of their rights, let alone the laws governing their political participation. In addition, young people of color may face even greater barriers. In addition, there are often fewer polling locations and shorter hours in communities with predominantly Black and brown residents.
Impact of voting restrictions on young people
Some factors can make voting more difficult for young people, from inaccessible polling places to strict voter ID laws. While these problems affect all voters, they particularly impact young people. Unlike older generations, young people often move from one place to another. As a result, they may not know how to vote or where to go and may not even be registered in their current home state. In addition, it can be intimidating to get through all of the bureaucracy involved.
Fortunately, there are solutions. The use of mail-in voting and expanded early voting options could be beneficial for young voters. But policymakers must be mindful of inequities associated with these policies. Young voters of color and people of color are far more likely to experience difficulties when voting by mail. Policymakers should consider young voters and other marginalized groups to address this. Young people who do not have access to cars and do not live in densely populated areas may face particular challenges.
Barriers to voting for young people
While young people are often interested in politics and intend to participate in the democratic process, a lack of time and planning can keep them from casting their votes. Registration for voting and acceptable forms of identification (which vary by state) requires planning and time, and young people often have irregular schedules and other competing demands. A political science professor at Duke University, Sunshine Hillygus, says that youth are especially susceptible to voter barriers.
Voting is also difficult for people who have housing instability. This instability makes it harder for them to obtain official photo identification. In addition, many people who do not live in stable housing don’t have reliable internet access. Housing instability makes voter ID issues even more problematic. Furthermore, only 26 states require that official identifications include a residential address. Finally, the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbates voter registration barriers for young people.
Impact of double discrimination on young voters
The impact of double discrimination on young voters has been studied for years, but only recently has this research been applied to voting rights. Racial and gender-based discrimination in the U.S. is widespread and is compounded in some countries by post-conflict and political instability. Voter education programs should address this issue by focusing on men and women. But how can we overcome double discrimination in voting?
As noted in a Senate Report, the twenty-sixth amendment was made after the Vietnam War and other violent protests that impacted the nation’s democratic process. At the time, it was argued that younger citizens were mature enough to vote. After all, by the time they reached adulthood, most had completed high school and some higher education. Even young people between 18 and 20 have already taken on adult responsibilities. In fact, in one study, half of all American servicemen killed during the Vietnam War were 18 to 20 years old. Young people were unwilling to participate in the political process, and their discontent was manifested in violent protests.
Need for targeted voter education
A critical aspect of voter education is targeting the youth. This group is particularly susceptible to double discrimination, primarily when members of disadvantaged ethnic groups. It means that voter education should not only focus on women but also on men. By ensuring that men are aware of the importance of voting, we can prevent this double discrimination.
They are developing campaigns with a personal touch. Targeting young people directly on Election Day may be the most effective way to increase their turnout. Of course, this is only effective when they have expressed interest in voting. The findings will make mobilization efforts more cost-effective this fall. The study was based on the evaluation of an extensive experiment in New Jersey. It has important implications for voter education, as it can improve civic engagement, turnout, and civic participation.