Liberty Students and Youth Across America Vote for First Time

Despite the fact that the percentage of young people voting has been low overall, more and more are beginning to take action


Gavin Block

Young adult voter turnout has been shown to be on the rise in recent years.

Gavin Block, Co-Editor-in-Chief of The Ledger

For Election Day of the 2022 national midterms that took place on Tuesday, Nov. 8, numerous citizens who had recently turned 18 raced to their local polling places to participate in democracy. From 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., abundant amounts of Americans lined up to place their statement on the ballot.

The plethora of young individuals exercising their right to vote included various seniors attending Liberty High School; some of these students even cast ballots at the polls on campus.

With many young adults engaging in the voting process, this election has seen more Americans of Generation Z joining in on the selection of public servants than ever before. In contrast to the 2020 election, those born in 2003 and 2004 were now able to choose potential leaders.

According to the KIDS COUNT Data Center, voter turnout among U.S. citizens aged 18 to 24 in the 2018 midterm election was 32%. As stated by the aforesaid source, turnout among the same demographic in the 2020 presidential election was 51%. Both times, 18 to 24-year-olds had the lowest turnout of any age cohort. 

Although those figures are generally low for civic engagement (especially when compared to other nations, such as Sweden and South Korea), they are the age group’s highest involvement percentages of the 21st century. When the official statistics are released for the 2022 midterm elections, it is expected that the number of young people voting will be demonstrated to have increased even more.

I just think it’s important that we share our voice, especially because we’re young and a lot of older people are voting.”

— Hailey Davies (12)

Liberty senior Julia Wiley described the voting experience she had at school on Tuesday.

“It was very weird because I would say that the average age of the room was generally old,” Wiley detailed. “I went during lunch, so I just got to vote in the middle of the day. There were maybe four elderly women outside trying to get me to vote ‘no’ on the legalization of marijuana; it was just a very interesting experience because they all thought that I was lost.”

When asked if it is essential that young people vote, Wiley responded, “For sure. It’s the only opportunity that we have to create a change in our lives, and even then, all of the older people who are currently ruling are going to pass on someday; they don’t have to live through the aftermath and repercussions of their decisions — we do.”

Senior Hailey Davies also voted for the first time.

“I just think it’s important that we share our voice, especially because we’re young and a lot of older people are voting,” Davies said. “Young adults need to get their ideas out there too. It’s our future.”

As a word of advice to students and/or young adults who plan on partaking in elections, Wiley stated, “Get out there and vote with every opportunity you have because it’s the only real effect that we have on our futures.”