Editorial: Young voters motivated at polls

Beware senior citizens, millennials are taking over the polls.
Millennials, the people born between 1981 and 1999, consist of 80 million Americans and make up one-fourth of today’s total voters. This the largest generation in 100 years, and a larger voting block than current senior citizens.
The influence of this generation showed in the 2008 election of President Barack Obama. Many young people saw him as the young, cool candidate. However, this does not mean that all millennials are leaning left and voting Democrat. A survey in The Washington Times shows that while 53 percent of millennials would prefer “Bigger government, more services,” still 38 percent prefer “Smaller government, fewer services.”
The young generation knows negative attention, often being described as overly privileged and easily offended. This group also knows technology and tends to get news from non-traditional outlets, such as the internet and television. These outlets, such as Twitter, often lace news reports with intense satire and liberal perspectives that appear to have influenced the political attitudes of young people.
There are currently 19,628 registered voters in Nez Perce County, the majority of whom identify as Republican or conservative. To vote in Idaho, one must be a U.S citizen, at least 18 years of age, an Idaho resident for 30 days prior to the day of the election, and must have not been convicted of a felony.
Voting is exercising your rights as an American citizen and really can make a difference. Many young people think that their vote won’t matter, or that they don’t need to be concerned with politics, but many decisions that the government makes will affect young voters the most. When young adults vote they are changing the social agenda and letting their voices be heard. The 2016 presidential candidates are listening, and trying to reach out to these young voters, or give them the political revolution they’ve been waiting for.
Why would a politician with a college degree and steady income care about the struggles of many American young adults trying to pay off student loan debts with a faulty job market? Perhaps these politicians understand that these students are the future for the nation and want to help them by addressing the corrupt economic system, or maybe some candidates are just trying too hard to be cool, i.e “Chillary Clinton”. Whatever the case, young people are taking notice and taking a stand. High School and college students shielded themselves against the cold and hit the streets in Iowa to help gain support for their favorite presidential candidate, and the results showed what an interesting election year this will be.
Almost every news outlet reports a different outcome of the Iowa caucus, partially because of the incredible voter attendance. While the exact numbers are unclear, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders were within .3 percent of each other, while Donald Trump didn’t have the extraordinary support he was predicting and came in second place behind Ted Cruz, causing mixed emotions all over the country.
With the primary candidates almost set, it is time for voters to go get registered, hit the polls, and start a political revolution.
There are three ways to register to vote:
• Appear in person at the County Clerk’s office located at 1230 Main Street in Lewiston with picture identification.
• Mail a voter registration form to the County Clerk
• Bring proof of residency (e.g., driver’s license, power bill, phone bill, etc.) that shows Idaho residence of at least 30 days, along with picture identification, to an assigned polling place and register the day of the election.