Your Vote Matters
It’s easy to feel like your vote is only a small drop in the bucket, but young people have the potential to change our political landscape, especially through state, county, and municipal races, which are determined by much smaller vote margins. In 2014, the attorney general’s race in Virginia–a state once plagued by anti-abortion TRAP laws–was decided by only 11 votes. As a result, the AG worked with the governor to prevent the closure of reproductive health clinics. In 2019, a wave of young people elected the most progressive body of Virginia state legislators in at least 20 years, which has since led to legislation that strengthens abortion access, re-enfranchises voters, protects LGBTQ+ Virginians, restricts access to guns, and promotes clean energy, as well as Virginia’s passage of the Equal Rights Amendment (becoming the 38th and final state needed to ratify!)
Typically in off-year non-presidential elections, voter turnout is significantly lower, but young voters in Virginia proved last year that not only do young people passionately care about the issues, but that we are also willing to get out and vote our conscious at the ballot box. Let’s show them again in 2020.
The Higher Education Act of 1965
“The [college or university] …will make a good faith effort to distribute a mail voter registration from, requested and received from the State, to each student enrolled in a degree or certificate program and physically in attendance at the institution, and to make such forms widely available to students at the institution.“
The Gender Gap
The measurable difference in the way women and men view and vote on issues is known as the “gender gap.” When examined by class and race, disparities in voting tendencies become even more pronounced: Black and Latina women make up the majority of women of the gender gap, along with single women. Since 1980, this gap in voting patterns has frequently determined election outcomes.