With the 2016 presidential election occurring this upcoming Tuesday November 8, 2016, many people are preparing themselves to vote and hopefully celebrate the nomination of their favorite candidate. While voting is crucial for the whole population, it is especially critical for millennials and Black voters, who often have low voter turn outs.
According to Civic Youth, only 19.9% of 18-29 year olds voted in the 2012 election, the lowest number to be recorded for this age range, but with the increase in campaigning tactics, and the views of each of the candidates, there is an expected rise in the voter turnout for millennials and students.
According to Cook Political, 66% of the Black population voted in the 2012 election, the highest number on record, but many attribute that number to the role of popular media and culture in the election, and the hopes of reelecting the first African American president. While the number of expected Black voters, especially students and millennials, is expected to fall during this election, many young people are attempting to encourage other Black students to vote.
At Howard University, a historically black university in the nation’s capital Washington, D.C., voting has been a popular discussion on campus. With prominent organizations and the Howard University student government executing weeks and events such as ”Bring Back the Vote”, the student body has attempted to increase the amount of black student voters in this upcoming election. With the election upon us, many students have also expressed their concerns regarding voting and the tactics presidential candidates used in order to receive the “Black Vote”
“I believe that as students we are the intellect for our community and we are the ones who need to be the most involved in politics and this current election.” Said Marlana Edwards, junior journalism major from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. “If not, in order to help create a better future for the Black community, we need to vote just for the fact that not long ago in history our ancestors were getting terrorized and some killed just for attempting to vote.” said Edwards.
While some students agree that it is important for African American students to practice our right to vote, others say that it is up to social media and the candidates attempt to receive the “Black Vote” that will encourage more Black students to vote.
“The inclusion of social media into the election has influenced [us] by keeping a lot of people who normally would not be politically involved interested,” said Erik Harrell, junior English major from Sacramento. “Even though [social media] makes it easier to reach young black people. I don’t think either of the candidates have tried enough to get our vote. Hilary Clinton has attempted through using Black celebrities, and Trump hasn’t done much, but they haven’t really spoken about what they can actually offer the Black community.” said Harrell.
Martinique Sellers, a junior African American studies major from Brooklyn, New York also stated that another way to increase the amount of young Black students voting is to make voting an easier process. “Many of us aren’t from D.C. so we had to get absentee ballots, but we either didn’t know how or in my case my absentee ballot never made it to me via mail. It is one thing for candidates to try to win over young Black people and students, but none of their effort matters if we can’t even vote or if we aren’t registered… I honestly believe that there won’t be a really big voter turnout from Black students.” said Sellers.
In order to find the nearest poll to vote in the upcoming election visit rockthevote.com