In Focus

Missing out on the Youngest Voters

AMELIA ROWE
STAFF WRITER

Some would call it a horrifying depiction of American politics, while others would claim that it’s an entertaining display of dispute. No matter what it’s called, the 2016 presidential election has definitely provoked a plethora of reactions from American citizens. Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump have used a variety of methods to persuade people to join their campaign and vote, but have they been successful reaching all available audiences
in America?
Youth is one of the main branches of American society the candidates should be focusing on for two reasons: they will be the next wave of voters and every single one of them is impacted by the president’s decisions. Despite this election being one of the most viewed in history, Clinton and Trump have been some of the least popular candidates.
The candidates’ appeal toward teenagers is heavily influenced by social media. With a click of a button, millions of people can read and share any piece of information. The disappointing aspect of this is that much of the information is biased or just untrue.
“I see so many headlines on social media about Hillary’s emails and Donald Trump’s scandals that sometimes I feel like I could name more negatives of each candidate than actual information about their policies,” says sophomore Mihika Badjate.
Clinton and Trump could focus their campaign more on issues that relate to current and future young adult’s lives. One topic that concerns teens is the minimum wage, and the amount they will be rewarded for their work is something young people care about. Keeping this in mind, political candidates should make an effort to acknowledge these concerns with concrete plans.
Both presidential candidates should focus on embedding themselves in young lives. Something as simple as visiting more high schools and talking to students one-on-one would create a stronger connection between teens and candidates. Political leaders’ goals are to appeal to the majority of their audience, so why are they neglecting people with valid opinions and future voting rights?
It will be interesting to see how this election plays out. One way Pinewood plans to get students involved in the democratic process is through the AP U.S. government class. The class has planned to put out four water jugs that represent the four candidates who are in the running. Before the president is elected, each student and faculty member will get a bean to put into their jug of choice. The jugs will be hidden from view to make the reveal at the end more suspenseful. Since most of the students cannot participate in the upcoming election, everyone should make sure to exercise their right to vote.

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