Many perspectives, 1 simple etiquette

Want to Increase Voter Turnout? Teach Adolescents to Have Goals

Author: David Yee
Created: 16 December, 2015
Updated: 18 October, 2022
2 min read

"Voter turnout in the United States is dismally low."

A recent academic paper exploring the aspects of low voter turnout begins with what we already know--that our voter turnout is horrendously low and getting worse.

Any number of measures have been employed to increase turnout--from motor voter laws to get-out-the-vote campaigns.

But this paper discusses a unique aspect of voter participation, one that seems to carry true from adolescence to adulthood--those who can create, persevere, and achieve goals are far more likely to vote.

Dubbed the psychosocial skill of 'grittiness,' researchers determined that those possessing 'grit' were more likely to get to the polls, and far more likely to wait in lines if need be.

If this is really the case, then we must ask, what goals we are teaching each generation?

One thing we have learned from America's extended wars in the Middle East is that many returning soldiers have had such incredible difficulties coping with the extreme levels of stress that programs of resilience training have been added into military training -- with one program already being tested on 1.1 million soldiers.

And while modern soldiering is an extreme example, it shows that the mental toughness and grit of the current generations are simply not as high as previous ones.

Maybe the best training we can give the next generation contains solid lessons in civics, government, and service during their adolescent years. A growing number of school districts require a certain amount of community service work in order to graduate -- this is a very good start.

Students have to be taught that even though they (or their parents) aren't carving out the wilderness forming the nation, their participation in society is what keeps society functioning and growing.

Our voter problems aren't totally from apathy; our voter turnout problems are largely due to a total disconnect between the person and what it means to be a good citizen -- producing for society, building society, and directing society.

This raw grit is the very basis of the independent voter thought that we can be tough enough, smart enough, and resilient enough to make positive changes to our country.

In the end, voter apathy comes full circle. If true engagement into the political process happens, voter apathy becomes voter engagement, and not just a party-line marcher, but true political engagement that is interested in making real changes and tough decisions for our nation.

Read more

fair maps
Gerrymandering Reform: Are We Asking the Wrong Question?
Photo Credit:  ...
01 March, 2024
7 min read
joined hands
10 Reasons Why Americans Are Not as Divided as You Think
Photo by on  Party leaders, politicians, and media pundits and talking heads would have US voters b...
28 February, 2024
7 min read
LetUsVote: New Campaign Launches to End Discrimination Against Independent Voters
Open Primaries, in partnership with Unite America, announced the launch of LetUsVote Wednesday, a nationwide initiative that aims to mobilize and empower independent voters, who make up the largest voting bloc in the US but are treated like second-class voters....
27 February, 2024
4 min read
For Good or Bad, Primary Changes May Be Coming to Elections Near You
Photo Credit:  The last couple of years have seen an increase in states looking to change their prim...
26 February, 2024
4 min read
The Primary Problem: Only 8% of Voters Elect 83% of Our Representatives
In his latest podcast, former Democratic presidential candidate and Forward Party Co-Founder Andrew ...
26 February, 2024
3 min read
Blame This One on Secretary of State Weber
Eight years ago, there was a competition still in play between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton wh...
26 February, 2024
4 min read