Each Election Day, citizens make their way to the polls to cast their votes in the general elections. Or so we are supposed to.
A quick Google News search of “voting” turned up the usual suspects: voter ID frustration, early voting leaders and winner predictions. What I did not expect to see, but was not surprised by, was a feature The Atlantic did on Millennials and their voting habits.
According to the article, Millennials (those between the ages of 18-29) are credited with helping put President Obama in office in 2008, but it’s this same group that is straying away from Democrats this election and is unsatisfied with Obama’s performance.
The Harvard Institute of Politics found that over half of Millennials who say they will be “definitely voting,” prefer a Republican-run Congress, which is the total opposite of the 2010 midterms.
So what does this mean? Why has a generation switched its thought process?
Don’t worry; the poll doesn’t say that Millennials are blaming Democrats for the gridlock in Congress. In fact, over 50 percent of Millennials blame the government as a whole (with Republicans coming in second at 22 percent).
John Della Volpe, the institute’s polling director, believes the change in voting habits is because Millennials want to see tangible change, which for the most part hasn’t happened during our time. He credited Millennials with more drive to volunteer than vote, and he’s right.
I absolutely agree with him. We are disgruntled with the way the government is being run. While we have made some positives strides in terms of social reform, this is just the tip of the iceberg for us.
We watch the news and read unproductive Facebook rants about racial tensions, homelessness, lack of school funds, gender equality, healthcare, the list could go on and on. It’s been six years since Millennials voted in Obama and two years that we chose to keep him for a second term.
By doing what was never done before, we were sure to change everything about our society and be much better. Six years later and we’re still not satisfied with how things are going. It may be a cliche, but it makes perfect sense that we are stepping up to be the change we wish to see.
I see my friends going out and volunteering at soup kitchens, community centers, urban gardens, etc. They are making tangible changes within their communities. After they are done putting a few hours of their time into a project, they see the results. If they volunteer planting at an urban garden, the next time they walk by they’ll see their work proudly on display.
Sadly, this work alone isn’t going to save the earth. Maybe if we all went out and planted around 100 trees and nurtured them as they grew, we would make some impact.
There is more that needs to be done. That “more” consists of regulations and standards that need to be implemented by members of our government. The same members that we have a say as to whether or not get a seat in office.
Even though we are frustrated with the lack of change and bipartisanship within our government by not voting not only are we neglecting one of our civic duties, but we are also silencing our own voices.
We should take this opportunity to express our thoughts on who should be placed within our government and why. If we don’t do this, we are not helping our society progress in the way we think it should.
Please take the time to go out and vote Tuesday, Nov. 4. And if that’s not enough for you, maybe you should think about getting involved with politics and making the change yourself.
Julia Casciato is the opinion editor at The Triangle. She can be contacted at