Many people feel that their one, individual vote can’t make a difference, but this is only correct if most of us don’t bother to vote. If we all vote, our collective millions of votes will be decisive in every close election across the country. Here’s why: On November 4th, 2014, all 435 of the House of Representatives seats are up for election, along with 36 of the 100 Senate seats. Because we are young and will live a long time, our generation has the most to lose as climate change worsens. And we happen to be the most convinced of all age groups that the problem is man-made and that we have to take action. Because of our large numbers, we have the power to influence the outcome of the November election.
If the election follows traditional patterns of voter participation, voter turnout will decline from approximately 130 million votes cast in 2012, a presidential election year, to just over 93 million in the upcoming 2014 “mid-term” election. Looking at the vote by age group, people 45-and-up tend to vote in high numbers in mid-term elections, with 85% of voters 45-and-up who vote in presidential election years also voting in mid-term years. However, only 40% of our generation who vote in presidential election years bother to vote in mid-term years. In the most recent presidential election year (2012), 25 million members of our generation voted. If we follow past trends, the projected vote by our generation for the upcoming 2014 mid-term election is only 11 million votes, or a decline of 14 million votes from the 2012 election. With a projected total of 93 million votes in the 2014 elections, turning out an additional 14 million votes from our generation can swing nearly every close race in both the Senate and the House.
So while we are correct in thinking that any single vote doesn’t have an impact, collectively all of our votes can decide the outcome of the mid-term elections. We made an enormous difference in 2008 and 2012, swinging many elections, and we can repeat that success again in 2014. Our individual vote is just one vote, but our collective 25 million votes can be the largest, most powerful voting bloc in November. By voting, we can change history and literally save our planet.