This campaign was founded in the fall of 2017 upon the idea that teens bring valuable, needed and courageous voices to community issues and democracy, that those voices aren’t always supported, but that support is critical to growing voters. Elections and the dialogue around them are one way for young people to find an entry point into civic life.
Since a priority for March for Our Lives organizers is voter registration, the marches planned for this weekend provide a way for young people to connect their experiences to elections. This emphasis could make a marked impact on electoral participation in the 2018 midterms, which could make this year depart from recent midterms, as shown in recent data analysis from campaign co-lead, CIRCLE.
CIRCLE recently analyzed national data, which among other things shows that:
- The number of the youngest eligible voters registered hasn’t varied over the past four election cycles,
- Voter turnout among the youngest voters trails their slightly older peers,
- Gaps in participation among 18-19 year olds already exist, reinforcing decades-long inequalities.
See more of this analysis here. The data is another reminder about how important it is to engage teens in conversations well before they are eligible to vote, and that deliberate efforts are needed to ensure that all young people have the opportunity to be heard on issues that they care about.