How can the most compassionate and diverse largest bloc of voters in the United States be the least participant in a country that seems to be digressing from its roots? Based on common knowledge of the voting statistics in the United States, the millennials are by far the underrepresented in the voting elections in the United States. Though they have a strong sense of justice and ideal way of how politics should be. What is preventing them from stepping forward and making their voice heard in politics? It seems that’s what the committee had in mind when they organized the Voter Awareness event for Millennials, to peek into their mind and provide information to reason with and persuade them into being more involved.
At the Voter Awareness Forum in Montgomery County, the turnout ratio wasn’t as much as expected. About half the seats were filled, the dominant category of the people attending the event were women and men around their mid-thirties to mid-forties. Though almost thirty percent of the people attending were around eighteen to mid-twenties, most of them seems to be college student. This attendance basically illustrate to me the type of audience that are most likely to participate in any political event/protest if it were to be orchestrated. The interior of the building was filled with seats that curved around the small platform. The place was small enough to make every attendee feel like their presence matter in the meeting matter. Everyone was urged to move up and cover the empty seats in order to make us closer and make us feel more engaged in the meeting.
After introducing themselves, the committee walked around and welcomed everyone with a smile. It certainly wasn’t what I was expecting, it almost didn’t feel like a political event, the way they were engaging with everyone. Which shows how dedicated they were over protecting the people’s voice in the government by encouraging us to speak up. Authoritarian regimes are most likely to form when people don’t exercise their political rights. They talked about how crucial voting is and how we (millennials) are the future and can help make changes in the local community by just taking out some time to vote for people who best represents our interest. Wide range of topics were covered from both local to national regarding votes. After a short while, the most interesting part of the event was next – the public forum, where everyone who wanted to ask questions or speak on different matters was given a chance. One of the questions that was brought up by a male college student, It was about the Electoral College in the presiding decision over the 2016 presidential election, despite the vast difference in popular vote. This exhibits a lingering concern from a male in his early twenties about whether the people’s voice really do matter in their government or rather just presided by the elites. Judging from everyone’s aroused interest in the question, including me, it seems like the man just spoke for everyone. Are they really making a change or are their opinions/vote really just meaningless?
Another question that was brought up right after the Electoral College question was from a seemingly sophisticated woman in her mid-twenties to early thirties who was sitting right in front of me. It was about whether the 2016 presidential election was really tampered with by the Russians. I had the chance to talk to her later after that event in the parking lot regarding her question earlier. Apparently, she is a real estate agent who just likes to attend political events from time to time. She clearly stated it was the chance to debate that fascinates her. She talked about how it’s not even just in the United States, like Nigeria in its recent election, where the votes were stolen by hired goons and election was postponed hours before voting. From her tone and expression, she was more frustrated regarding the lack of proper security to ensure the people’s opinion mattered. If our votes really does matter, why are they still susceptible to cyber-attacks?
After the event, I was able to conclude that in order to get the people more involved in politics, the government has to regain their trust and make them believe in one of the strongest democratic pillar in the world. To make them believe in the system once again that every vote casted in the ballot has the ability to truly make a change.