How might we encourage young people to vote and become actively engaged citizens?

In a perfect world, certain issues wouldn’t exist. Yet, we don’t live in a perfect world. Therefore, we need a change in the status quo in order to create a more sustainable and equitable future for the coming generations.

Young people as citizens have an important say and role in the world of tomorrow: it is essential that we take on this role and contribute to the development of our societies. Through civic engagement, we can manifest our passion for change, discuss community issues, and actively participate
in our democracy.

Voting is one essential way to be actively engaged and to make our voices heard. Yet, voter turnout among young Americans is very low. “Even in 2018—a high water mark for youth voting—7 in 10 young voters failed to turn out. In most presidential and midterm elections, it’s not uncommon to see older voters turn out at a rate twice as high as their younger counterparts.” Participation is even lower when it comes to youth communities of color because they face more barriers when voting compared to white youth: 39% of youth of color had trouble locating their polling place compared to 27% of white youth; 28% of youth of color had a problem with voter ID compared to 17% of white youth.

Now more than ever, we need to be actively involved in societal issues and amplify our voices through civic participation.
This project will explore the many ways we can use digital technology to engage our young people to actively participate and be civic leaders in our community. We will start in the fall by focusing on voting as it’s a great opportunity to start having an impact while doing research to better understand the problem space and develop a more focused scope for the spring.