Social media’s influence on young voter registration

By: Tatiania Perry

Young voters have historically been underwhelming when it comes to voting.

In the 2016 Presidential Election roughly 50% of 18-29 year olds exercised their right to vote.

Following the results of the election, many young voters realized how important it was to hit the polls. But not enough to bring out the youth in the 2018 election.

“I feel that a lot of people don’t want to step on each other’s toes, um, when it comes to like, the political view or side of things,” University of Illinois senior, Nijah Randolph said.  “And I feel like that can also show you like the type of people I think people don’t know how to disassociate the person and their political views because sometimes they go hand in hand.”

According to the Brookings Institution census analysis, Millennials and eligible Gen z make up roughly 37% of eligible voters.

For this election, social media has played a large role in the registration of Millennials and eligible Gen Z.

Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and Spotify are just a few of the companies that launched their voter registration efforts early in the fall. 

Since, Facebook has announced roughly 2.5 million people who registered through their platforms and Snapchat announced and additional 400,000 on theirs. 

Despite efforts, some still remain neutral about the youth vote.

They have a strong voice if people choose to exercise it, collectively, but realistically, I don’t expect young people to see that and like, make much political action,” University of Illinois senior, Matthew Krauter said.

Others are still optimistic about  the youth going out and voting this year.

“The climate of everything that’s going on right now pushes people to vote from things like the riots to like police brutality,” Randolph said. “I feel like a lot of millennials are activists now, like they’re basically like speaking up, and it’s all over my Instagram.

Tatiania Perry

I am a journalism graduate student. In my undergraduate at the University I had the privilege of working for The Daily Illini as an Assistant Sports Editor, interning for NBC Sports Group in the digital media department as and most recently I served as a digital intern for Illinois Public Newsroom and a Teaching Assistant for the College of Media. I chose to go into Journalism because I love the idea of telling the stories of those who would otherwise not be heard, being a voice to the voiceless.