Vote Today. You Did Know It Is Election Day, Right?
By Erica and Karen
Today is election day in New York City, and many other places. Turnout will likely be very low. (In the June, 2016 federal primary, turnout was 14% in Manhattan, 5% in Brooklyn and the Bronx, and 4% in Queens. Staten Island had no primary. Turnout was much better, though far from stellar, for the presidential election, ranging from 60% to 52%, but today's election is not for the presidency.
The numbers are shocking, and will likely be so again. Why? Partly because voters think a De Blasio victory is inevitable, though who knows what might happen if turnout were high. Partly because New York's laws do not make voting easy, and gerrymandering and demographics lead to predictable results. Partly because of apathy.
We think we Boomers can lead the way out of the darkness into the light. Let's make sure all those young eligible voters actually vote. Let's make sure they know they can have an impact in a local election. Let's make sure they know that it matters who our mayor is. Mayor Mike vs. Blaz? What a difference. Sadly, of course, there is actually is no real contest today, but let’s change that in the future.
So, if you are in a location that is having an election, get out there today and vote. Exercise your civic power. Be an example. Talk to your favorite millennials, and Gen-Xers and Yers and Zers. Explain to them that voting every couple of years is a small obligation compared to the benefits of citizenship. Have a look at organizations that are generating local involvement. And support changes to make voting easier.
Lead, and you'll get some followers. Next year, maybe run for office, or convince one of them to. You can change the world.