Youth turnout will define America’s future

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Photo Credit: Chelsea Purgahn | Daily Texan Staff

As Ted Cruz so eloquently put it at this year’s Texas Tribune Festival, this election, “we’re facing a binary choice.” And indeed, 2016 is unlike any election year that the United States has ever seen — a year so unusual that The Atlantic issued a presidential endorsement for just the third time since its inception in 1857.

All this chaos has kept the public fixated on the youth vote. Only about half of registered voters aged 18–29 turned out in 2012, and Hillary Clinton’s 49 percent unfavorable rating among millennials has left the political world wondering whether or not she can replicate President Barack Obama’s strong showing among the demographic.

Here at The Daily Texan, we’ve already shared our thoughts on this year’s presidential race. But regardless of your political ideology or which candidates you support, we urge you to do your part to ensure that our nation’s government recognize the voices of its youth. Whether you think our country is headed down the wrong path, that America is already great, or anything in between, the most direct way to stake your position is to vote for representatives who share it in races at every level.

And if you don’t, our future will be decided by those who will never live through it.

This week’s forum showcases two voter-registration professionals attesting to the importance of their work. Hook the Vote director Bailey Schumm discusses her organization’s work ensuring that the voter registration process is smooth and stress-free for students. Travis County voter registrar Bruce Elfant, for his part, makes the case that voting is the bedrock of America’s republic — and that high turnout is our only path to preserving it.

We’re a little over a month out from Election Day, and the deadline to register is Oct. 11. You can register at a post office, at city hall, or at many of the tables being set up by UT political groups in the coming week. Make your voice heard. This is our future. 

Chase is a Plan II and economics senior from Royse City. He is the Editor-in-Chief. Kashar is an American studies sophomore from Scarsdale, New York. Shenhar is a Plan II, economics and government senior from Westport, Connecticut. They are the Forum Editors.