Generation Z will play an important role in the outcome of the 2024 elections, as more young voters head to the polls and weigh in on the nation’s political future. Here, we’ll explore what recent voter turnout trends could mean for 2024 — specifically focusing on data from the 2020 presidential election and the 2022 midterm elections.
The impact of young voters on American politics is becoming increasingly apparent in the country’s shifting political environment.
Recent elections have seen a spike in Gen Z voter turnout, especially the crucial 2020 presidential contest. It's clear from looking at the data that young voices are more influential than ever in the political conversation.
The United States Census Bureau reports that roughly 51.4% of eligible Gen Z voters cast ballots in the 2020 election. Compared to previous years, this represented a notable increase, highlighting a pattern that warrants consideration. There are several factors contributing to this surge, including a rise in political activism and easier access to information thanks to social media.
Though the total number of youth voters in 2022 remained higher than in 2014, there was a decline in youth turnout overall in the midterm elections in 2022 compared to 2018. This change implies that the youth electorate’s constancy in turning out to vote varies throughout election cycles.
When considering the 2022 state-by-state youth turnout, it's interesting to note that several states like Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan defied the national trend and saw a spike in the number of Gen Zers casting ballots in the 2022 elections. These states had an increase in youth political participation despite the national decline, suggesting regional differences in the variables impacting young voter involvement.
Analysis of the 2022 midterm elections revealed that young people had strong Democratic inclinations, which helped the party do better than predicted in the Senate, the House, and several gubernatorial contests. However, the influence of young voters goes beyond elections. Young activists using social media sites like Instagram and TikTok have created social movements that have spurred national dialogue on crucial issues like racial justice. Social media's interconnectivity makes it possible for information to spread quickly and for people to take action together, which puts Gen Z at the forefront of influencing public opinion and policy discourse. Generation Z can influence policy through the following ways:
The emergence of digital activism is central to the political impact of Generation Z. Social media platforms are effective mobilization tools because they let Gen Zers connect, exchange information, and band together around common issues. Because of the viral nature of content on sites like TikTok, ordinary people can now be powerful advocates. Videos that are short and simple to share can be used as a platform to discuss political issues, counter misinformation, and promote public engagement. This democratization of power is a prime example of how Gen Z voters and the next-generation voters have used digital technology to impact political and social change.
Besides influencing public opinion, Gen Z actively affects policy objectives on the political agenda. Legislators and candidates are including issues supported by the Z generation in their agendas more progressively. Previously considered niche issues, gun control, racial justice, and climate change are now at the forefront of political discourse across the board.
Gen Z's influence in politics extends beyond the causes they support to include representation. A more inclusive political environment is facilitated by the diversity of Gen Z, both in terms of identity and race. When young people from diverse backgrounds assume leadership positions, they bring distinct viewpoints that subvert conventional wisdom and widen the political conversation.
Beyond influencing public opinion and policy, Gen Z's influence is seen from the sheer quantity of people casting ballots. Voter turnout among young people increased significantly in the 2020 elections, demonstrating a generation that is not only vocal but also engaged in democracy. This demonstrates their understanding of the influence their votes will have on the direction the nation takes going forward.
Legislators, tech firms, and schools all have a crucial part to play in fostering a culture that prioritizes factual information. For the democratic process to remain intact, Gen Z must play a leading role in advocating for accountability and openness in the distribution of information.
In this revolutionary wave, it is not enough for Gen Z voters to just cast ballots; they also need to actively participate in influencing the narrative and policies that will shape the country's future. Your voice has a significant impact and a profound influence on how American democracy comes together.
Participating in the democratic process as a member of Generation Z is a potent declaration of your interest in influencing the direction the country will go. Comprehending and actively engaging youth in politics is not only a duty but also a way to impact decisions and policies. Your involvement in the election process aids in:
Gen Z offers new insights and creative solutions to the political arena. Your participation guarantees that these concepts are not only acknowledged but also included in the laws that govern the country. Your generation faces particular issues and opportunities that call for specialized solutions that can only be reached by the active political involvement of young adults.
The political discourse is enhanced by the diversity of Gen Z, which includes people from different ethnic backgrounds, cultures, and socioeconomic statuses. By actively participating in politics, you support the creation of policies that take into account and value this diversity, promoting a feeling of inclusion and representation for everybody.
A long-lasting culture of political involvement is built on the foundation of youth civic engagement. With Gen Z's increasing political empowerment, there is an expectation for both political representation and an ongoing, educated conversation between voters and decision-makers.
Many have perceived a sense of political disengagement in recent years. But the higher-than-average turnout of Gen Z voters in the most recent elections counters this notion. Your enthusiastic participation makes a strong statement about the youth's desire to actively engage in politics, thereby effectively fighting voter apathy among young voters.
You may impact public opinion and the political dialogue by being involved in advocacy and activism. The significance of youth-led activist movements, like those supporting social justice and climate action, highlights a level of influence that goes well beyond voting.
Citizens must actively and intelligently participate in their democracy. The legitimacy of the democratic system is strengthened when young people participate actively in the electoral process. Diverse youth perspectives in elections need to be represented, particularly those of a group that will be critical to the future of the country. This keeps the democratic process flexible and adaptable to changing societal demands.
It is imperative that we take advantage of both the potential and challenges that come with increasing voter turnout as we work to create a more representative and inclusive democracy. Even if there are barriers such as disinformation, voter suppression, and a sense of disengagement from political processes, these difficulties can be turned into opportunities for significant change. Recognizing and negotiating these dynamics is crucial to utilizing Generation Z's combined power in the political sphere.
Young and minority voters are disproportionately affected by voter suppression strategies, which can range from stringent voter ID requirements to limiting the number of polling stations available. A determined campaign to support fair voting procedures and laws that protect everyone's right to take part in the democratic process is necessary to remove these obstacles.
A new era of information distribution has been brought about by the digital age, yet misinformation and deception have also grown. Gen Zers are sometimes prone to falling for false narratives because they frequently get their news from social media and other online sources. In order to provide these voters with proper information, this challenge is being addressed through media literacy campaigns, fact-checking programs, and the promotion of reputable sources.
For Gen Zers, lengthy and complicated voter registration procedures can be a major obstacle. Enacting outreach initiatives, encouraging online registration, and streamlining registration processes can all help to streamline the process and mobilize more young voter registration state by state.
Movements at the grassroots level offer some of the most powerful opportunities for involvement. Here, it is possible to use the energy of Gen Z activists to accelerate political change. Across traditional party lines, grassroots initiatives have the power to strengthen Generation Z's voice on a range of issues.
Gen Zers have a unique platform to participate in digital activism. Social media platforms facilitate the swift dissemination of information, hence simplifying the process for youth to organize, mobilize, and promote topics they are passionate about. Reaching and energizing a sizable contingent of Gen Z voters can be achieved by using the power of online platforms.
Young voters' lack of familiarity with politics might be filled through local community organizing initiatives. More young people can be motivated to actively participate in elections by providing forums for open discussion, planning town halls, and encouraging a feeling of community involvement.
It is imperative that educational programs educate Gen Zers about the political system, the impact of election policies, the value of casting a ballot, and how policies affect their daily lives. Gen Z voters can be equipped with the knowledge they need to make informed choices by implementing comprehensive civic education programs in collaboration with schools, colleges, and community organizations.
By giving priority to programs that directly address the concerns of young people, politicians can motivate this demographic to take action. In addition to encouraging active engagement in the political process, addressing issues like affordable housing, student loan debt, and climate change shows a commitment to the welfare of Generation Z.
The importance of young voters' role is growing as the 2024 elections inch closer. The things that are important to you, the principles that you follow, and your future goals will help determine the direction the country takes. Your ongoing involvement is crucial as we build upon the momentum created by recent elections.
Ready to make your mark in 2024? Join Good Party’s community of activists across the nation, and connect with like-minded individuals who are passionate about reforming our democracy for the better. To get connected, you can join Good Party’s Discord server or sign up to volunteer and support people-powered, anti-corruption candidates.