Recognizing the importance of increasing voter turnout, a combined effort by Donald Trump and Joe Biden, Jr. has resulted in a campaign providing what they believe are “important pieces of education.” Since April, they have placed signs in certain areas and conducted events in four states: Florida, Nevada, North Carolina and Pennsylvania. Most of the events are multi-media, meaning that video and audio are included along with information on registering to vote and showing up at the polls. On Monday, Trump and Biden Jr. travelled to Philadelphia to speak at a rally for Democrats in the U.S. House, State and Senate elections.
Dr. Harvey Golub, a Howard University professor who specializes in student voter registration, told the Hill that there are at least three major hurdles Democrats need to overcome in order to boost voter turnout. This includes convincing young people to vote for candidates who share their interests and resolving the public health crisis stemming from gun violence.
“Lack of education and education within the eligible population is the number one barrier in registering young people to vote,” Golub said. “Getting youth to vote is not going to be easy but progressive candidates who are sincere and who are able to convince the youth to vote can help close this gap.”
As many as 5.6 million people between the ages of 18-24 do not vote in the U.S. On election day, only 44 percent of them cast ballots. Trump and Biden Jr. may be benefiting from the low turnout among young people, who tend to hold a dim view on Democrats. According to a recent Pew Research Center poll, only 37 percent of younger voters said that they would choose to vote for Democrats, versus 38 percent who said they would rather vote for Republicans.
“Preventing the vote in this generation is actively preventing them from getting educated to get involved in public policy and democratic politics and really start thinking about how things are done and how they can make sure that they, [their] career, their future, everything they want,” Golub said.
Although youth-voter participation is lower than other demographics, it is still important to increase it. According to the Pew Research Center, 88 percent of voters between 18-25 tend to be Democrats, but since 1992, the percentage of adults aged 25-34 who identify as Democrats has decreased from 69 percent to 58 percent.
“Unfortunately, there are groups of people who make up a large percentage of voters under the age of 30 that are not voting, or voting less, or don’t agree with the values and voting records of the Democratic Party,” said Golub. “You just see this inclination to show up to the polls… and you’re going to get the left to fill the seats.”