OK, Millennials, Please Vote

Millennials are good at tweeting and protesting, but will they vote?

Posted Sep 27, 2020

Dear millennials, 

As a member of Generation X, I have tended to stay on the sidelines of the “OK, boomer” vs. “OK, millennial” squabble. It seemed a bit petty and mostly inconsequential to me. But not anymore. Shtuff’s gettin’ real. 

The U.S. presidential election is coming up. The coronavirus pandemic is threatening to reduce voter turn-out. And some political operatives are maneuvering to reduce voter turn-out—especially among the youth vote

But you millennials are rising to the occasion. With the help of Power the Polls, hundreds of thousands of millennials have signed up to help serve on election day as poll workers. You will be able to replace the thousands of boomers who have had to step down from their traditional roles as poll workers due to the COVID-19 risks. Good on ya, millennials.

Now all you have to do is step up your voting! In 2018, only 42% of millennials (in their 20s and 30s) voted in the mid-term election. By contrast, 55% of Gen Xers (in their 40s and 50s) voted. And 64% of boomers (in their 60s and 70s) voted. Among the millennials, this was a big increase from 2014’s midterm election, where only 22% voted. But we’re not grading on a curve. 42% is shameful. Even though there are fewer boomers in the U.S. than millennials, millions more votes were cast in 2018 by boomers. 

In statistical terms, millennials, your show of civic responsibility in 2018 was far below that of boomers and actually closer to the Gen Zers. And, while we’re at it, where the heck have the Gen Zers been? Sure, some of them aren’t old enough to vote yet, but many of them are. Only 30% of Gen Zers who were eligible to vote actually did in 2018! They can’t afford to stand on the sidelines right now either.

Tiffany Tertipes/Unsplash
Please vote.
Source: Tiffany Tertipes/Unsplash

If you haven’t secured your plans for how to vote in this upcoming presidential election, do it now. Here are some tools for registering to vote and/or filing for absentee mail voting: TurbovoteNBCNews, and even Pacsun.

Look, millennials, it may indeed be the case that boomers (and we Gen X’ers) have been a little asleep at the wheel during some of America’s gradual drift toward extreme income inequality, human-caused climate change, and implicit social injustice, but at least we vote. In droves! Millennials, we respect your passion for social and environmental justice and your commitment to speaking out and protesting. But if you don’t vote, then much of that is just wasted energy. Prove to us all that there is real action behind your tweets and protests by voting in this presidential election. In droves. Only then, will you finally have a say in your future.