The 2018 midterm elections are just around the corner; many Americans are casting their votes early. During a time when political issues are stirring polarized conversations, two generations could make the greatest impact in this year’s election: millennials and Generation Z.
According to a study by Dr. Susan MacManus, a political analyst and retired political science professor at the University of South Florida, millennials and Generation Z make up 28 percent of all registrants in the 2018 midterm elections. According to the study, more Generation X, millennials and Generation Z are registered to vote than baby boomers.
Supervisor of Elections in Palm Beach County Susan Bucher discussed the effect young voters could have in the midterm elections.
“I think that this is the first time in history that [the younger generations’] vote is going to make-or-break people on this ballot,” Bucher said.
She also mentioned that registration in West Palm Beach increased by 8 percent for 18-to-25 year olds.
Bucher noted that most young people do not care about Social Security or Medicare issues. She said millennials and Generation Z are more interested in issues like an affordable housing market and the environment. With the younger generations gaining traction in the electorate, Bucher explained what she feels the next step is for young voters.
“I challenge young people to create themselves a voting block that is noticed by the major candidates so that they have to come and talk about your issues,” Bucher said. “Exercise your democracy whenever you can, and that means voting.”
Eighteen-year-old Kenneth Cross voted for the first time on Friday evening at the Boca Raton Public Library. Cross is well aware millennials and Generation Z make up the bulk of registered voters this year.
“You can’t say that you have an issue with something if you don’t participate and try to make it better,” Cross said. “If you’re not voting, you can’t improve anything.”
Millennials and Generation Z will have to wait until Nov. 6 to see if the majority vote coincides with their opinions.