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“This generation can decide what direction this country is going in,” said junior Nikki Russell as she helped her classmates by handing out ballots for the Loy Norrix Mock Election.
It’s clear that much of today’s youth know the magnitude of the impact their generation has on their country. Millennials have grown up in an age where information is readily available at the touch of a button.
“I think they are more aware because they have easier access to information, there are so many more ways [for them] to get their information,” said John Brown, the Regional Chairperson representing the Elections Division of Kalamazoo.
John Brown has held this position for 25 years. The way he compares millennials to past generations goes to show that even the older generations know just how much their successors will impact the United States as a nation.
“Anybody is ready to vote as long as they are educated, yet this generation lacks a stake in the game, but that can be overcome,” said government teacher Michael Wright.
The League of Women Voters is attempting to educate high schoolers on the process of voting so that they will be able to utilize their political knowledge by organizing mock elections across the Kalamazoo area.
“The League of Women Voters presented the Voter’s Education Project to the three Kalamazoo Public School high schools and the Young Adult Program and all four of the schools are hosting mock elections today,” said Jennie Hill of the League of Women Voters, “ you will all be 18 [eventually] and need to make important decisions that govern your [the students’] futures.”
While many are self-educated in the ways of politics, some grew up naive and are now looking for answers.
“Most kids don’t understand what goes on with politics without taking a class like government. I just know I was a Democrat because of my parents,” said junior CJ Washington, “I’m learning how to fill out a ballot because at first I didn’t know how to.”
Young voters are often concerned that their vote won’t matter and some avoid voting altogether simply because they don’t know how. But now the League of Women Voters and the rise in communications technology are making a change. The youth of today are getting educated and when they are old enough to vote, they will be ready to make a difference.
“I think that every vote counts, especially in a close election like this that’s making many people want to vote third party,” said senior Julia Townley.
It’s safe to say that Generation X can take solace in the fact that its successors are prepared to take the U.S. in the right direction. Thanks to the acts of organizations like the League of Women Voters, the nation will soon have a group of well informed young voters.
The result of the mock election was a landslide victory for Secretary Hillary Clinton by a margin of 251-59 over Donald Trump at Loy Norrix. In the four combined elections, her margin increased to 659-170 over Trump. Third party candidates Jill Stein and Gary Johnson received 48 and 79 votes respectively.