Editorial: Spike in young people voting is good, but we should do better

Voters cast their ballots at the Whetstone Community Center polling location, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018, in Columbus, Ohio. Across the country, voters headed to the polls Tuesday in one of the most high-profile midterm elections in years. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Political activism is commonly a large component of college campus culture. Students are beginning to exercise their right to vote and to voice their political opinions as they further their education. Since young voters tend to favor progressive candidates and ideas, the current conservative presidential administration motivated them to go to the polls and vote for change.

This past election cycle, it was estimated that 31 percent of people aged 18-29 voted. This was an increase of approximately 10 percentage points since the 2014 midterm elections. s. This increase shows that the Trump administration, which is much disliked by progressives, gave many young voters an incentive to vote for a change in the liberal direction. Due to this increase in votes, the Democratic party was able to regain control of the House of Representatives, ending a one-party Congress for the first time in four years.

In the results of the midterm elections, according to Bernie Sanders, “the Democratic victory to take back control of the House of Representatives sent a ‘very clear message from the American people against Trump policies, his behaviour and his bigotry.’” After what many perceive as a win for liberals in the midterms, student voters now see how their voices can elicit change and how their vote matters. This should incentivize even more people to vote in the 2020 election.

College campuses should promote student voting and encourage all students to exercise their right to vote whenever they can. According to Study.com, “The college vote can swing elections. There are more than 75 million Millennials, a number that rivals the number of baby boomers - another important voting bloc.” UConn PIRG and other organizations on campus have been very effective in getting students to the polls.

According to NBC Connecticut, “The Mansfield Registrar of Voters office is seeing UConn students registering in force. Tuesday alone officials said they received around 400 new voter registrations from students. There were also hundreds this week, on top of the 1,200 they accounted for since Oct. 1.” Keeping this young voter force alive for the 2020 election and beyond will allow for more representative election results, which can benefit young voters in the long run.