The midterm elections are getting more attention now than ever before; every newspaper, news channel, and radio station is focusing on how crucial this year’s elections will be by detailing the high stakes surrounding them.
The winners of this election will determine which party controls both the Senate and the House of Representatives.
One of the most significant issues that will be influencing the election results is voter turnout.
The midterm elections are often overlooked and many do not even pay attention to them.
Only an estimated 40 percent of voters actually cast ballots for the midterm elections according to Pew Research Center.
The U.S. Census Bureau found that only 16 percent of eligible young voters, individuals between the ages of 18 and 29, actually voted in the 2014 midterm elections.
Voter turnout is a huge problem in our nation and its impact is increasingly being viewed as a huge issue in our democracy.
Politicians and influencers, this year in particular, cannot seem to stress enough how crucial it is for people, particularly young people, to be informed and to exercise their right to vote.
Celebrities, including Rihanna, Chance the Rapper, and countless others, have posted on their social media pages about the importance of voting.
Many influencers have posted the voter registration deadlines for every state in the country and many have written empowering messages encouraging their followers to vote.
Rihanna wrote on her Instagram, “You have 1 job today and that is to properly register to vote.”
Voter turnout is such a huge issue that Taylor Swift broke her career-long silence on political matters to encourage her 112 million Instagram followers to register to vote and to participate in the midterm election.
Celebrities using their enormous platforms to get their mostly young followers to vote is working.
Within two days of Taylor Swift’s post, over 166,000 people registered to vote nationwide.
A spokesperson from Vote.org reported that roughly 42 percent of those who registered in the 48 hour time period after the post was made, were between the ages of 18 and 24.
While Taylor Swift can’t take credit for all of the people who registered to vote after her post, the huge influx of young people registering cannot be a coincidence.
It is fantastic that individuals who have the ability to influence others in our society are positively encouraging participation in our democracy.
Many people right now are discouraged with the political process and think that their one vote doesn’t matter. But this is the wrong attitude for young voters to have.
Voting is a civic duty and higher voter turnout makes our government more accurate in representing all the people of this country.
Voting is a way for a young person’s voice to be heard and the collective voices of this young generation can influence government policies.
Michelle Obama said, “You don’t let your grandma choose your clothes or your music. Don’t let her choose the future of your country either.”
Many young people look up to celebrities, so when a young person is scrolling through Twitter or Instagram and they see their favorite celebrity posting about the importance of politics, it can be inspiring.
Or, at the very least, it will get that person thinking about their own political beliefs and their own plans for this November 6th.
Young people need to be getting involved in politics and, hopefully, these celebrities have encouraged some that there is no better time than now.
If you are 18 years old, take the time to make a difference in our country and vote.