With the 2020 election already underway, there are initiatives all over the United States to get people to the voting booths. As teenagers, we cannot cast our ballots just yet, but there are still other ways to have our voices heard. Here are three ways to get involved in the election without voting:
#1 Organize a protest: According to Teen Vogue, Generation Z is taking the world by storm, organizing and leading protests about the environment, gun control, and more. After the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, students hosted multiple protests about gun control and safety. Their peaceful demonstrations later resulted in the passing of new legislation in their home state of Florida. It raised the minimum age to purchase a firearm to 21. The bill also banned bump stocks, which are used to assist in firing ammunition in rapid succession. Now more than ever, students are joining protests ranging from climate change to Black Lives Matter, and the government is taking notice. Peaceful protest provides teenagers a platform to shed light on vital political and social issues, allowing their voices to be heard.
#2 Get the word out via social media: In the Internet age, it is easier than ever to get the word out to thousands, if not millions, of people. From Instagram to Twitter to even TikTok, making a political statement can influence viewers all across the country. Whether you want to tweet to your local US representative, start a petition, or create a video, you are publicly sharing your views to the world and potentially starting a conversation about it. According to Business Insider, Generation Z gets their political news primarily from social media sources such as Instagram, meaning that your political post could very well resonate with someone and influence their vote.
#3 Join a texting campaign for a candidate or cause you are passionate about: Most candidates have a texting campaign that connects volunteers with potential voters all over the country. While some do not allow minors to join in, most are open to any help they can get. If you are very passionate about a specific candidate or cause, volunteering for a texting campaign will help you get the word out to actual voters. Even if you end up getting matched with someone who does not share similar views, starting a friendly and informative conversation is the first step to bridging the gap between beliefs and potentially changing their minds.
Even though teenagers cannot vote, there are many other ways for us to get involved in the election. With enough determination and creative thinking, nothing is stopping us from getting our voices heard.
Written by: Ella Gohari
Edited by: Meklit Tilahun