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Giving Compass' Take:
• The author discusses five revolutionary times that young people showed up to vote across the globe, changing the course of history and shedding light on the importance of youth voting.
• What more can the U.S. do at the state and federal level to get young people to vote and learn about its significance?
• Read more about how we get young people to vote.
Young people make a difference when they rally around the right to vote.
But sometimes millennials need a push to get politically involved. In 2016, only 46.1% of US citizens between ages 18 and 29 reported voting to the Census Bureau. One recent study found the age group wasn’t sending in their absentee ballots, simply because they didn’t know where to buy stamps.
The right to vote shouldn’t be taken for granted. In places that don’t practice democracy, citizens don’t have the privilege to appoint the leaders who make big decisions for them.
Voter registration campaigns have been in full swing since National Voter Registration Day on Sept. 25. As registration deadlines and the midterm elections approach, here are five times young people reminded each other to exercise their freedom and saw groundbreaking results.
- Civil Rights Movement: The Student Non-Violence Coordinating Committee (SNCC) was formed in 1960 to give black youth in the US a voice in the Civil Rights Movement.
- Vietnam War: When students fought for their right to protest in opposition of the Vietnam War, their resistance led the public to agree it was unfair for men to be drafted war who weren’t of age to vote. In response, Nixon signed the 26th Amendment to lower the voting age to 18.
- South Africa Soweto Uprising and Apartheid: In 1976, a series of demonstrations and protests were led by black students in South Africa who were fed up with the 1974 law mandating all schools in the country be taught in Afrikaans — the language spoken by Dutch settlers —and English
- 2008 US Presidential Election: Polls showed 54.5% of Americans ages 18 to 29 voted — a percentage largely unseen since 1972.
- Parkland: oung activists like students Emma González and David Hogg organized their peers on social media in the wake of the tragedy they witnessed.
Read the full article about young people stood up for voting by Leah Rodriguez at Global Citizen