The Student Voice of Prosper High School

Eagle Nation Online

The Student Voice of Prosper High School

Eagle Nation Online

The Student Voice of Prosper High School

Eagle Nation Online

Gen-Z isn’t voting, here’s what it means for democracy

Decreasing rates of voter turnout prompts teachers to encourage student votes
In+this+graphic%2C+created+through+Canva%2C+a+box+labeled+vote+along+with+multiple+ballots+are+portrayed.+This+represents+the+potential+votes+that+Generation+Z+can+make+in+order+to+make+their+voice+apparent+in+government.+If+you+are+at+least+17+and+a+half+years+old%2C+a+US+citizen%2C+and+a+resident+in+Texas+then+you+can+register+to+vote+in+Texas%2C++Scott+Nichols%2C+United+States+Government+teacher+at+PHS+said.+You+must+register+to+vote+at+least+30+days+prior+to+an+election+you+intend+to+vote+in.+Please+make+your+voice+heard+and+work+for+the+change+you+seek.
Lauren Clayton
In this graphic, created through Canva, a box labeled “vote” along with multiple ballots are portrayed. This represents the potential votes that Generation Z can make in order to make their voice apparent in government. “If you are at least 17 and a half years old, a US citizen, and a resident in Texas then you can register to vote in Texas, ” Scott Nichols, United States Government teacher at PHS said. “You must register to vote at least 30 days prior to an election you intend to vote in. Please make your voice heard and work for the change you seek.”

According to the United States Census Bureau, voters ages 18-29 participate in less elections than any other age group of Americans. Included in this demographic are PHS seniors now eligible to vote.

Although the deadline to register for voting in the upcoming Texas Primary’s was Feb. 5, the last day to apply to vote by mail is Feb. 23. Early voting for the Primary’s runs until March 1. Students can view this link for specific dates.

Since the turn of the 20th century, voter turnouts for mid-term elections in the US have fallen from 55% in 1900 to 46% in 2020. MIT Election Lab states that “Voter turnout is a measure of civic participation that many people believe best gauges the health of the electoral process.” Put simply, high voter turnout is a sign of a thriving democracy, and low voter turnout can indicate struggling one.

Voter turnout is a measure of civic participation that many people believe best gauges the health of the electoral process.

— Michigan Institute of Technology Election Lab

Statistics from the most recent election in Collin County showed that out of the more than 700,000 people registered to vote, less than 49,000 ballots were cast. This leaves the voter turnout at a mere 6.89%, meaning that only the opinions of a small percentage of the people affected by the results of the election will actually have a say in those results.

A bar graph, created in canva, shows the adult population of Collin County, estimated from the 2020 census. The registered voters and cast ballot data are from the county’s reports on the Nov. 7, 2023 election. Graphic by Tess Gagliano.

“If you don’t vote you are leaving that choice for someone else to make; someone that may have different ideals, beliefs and standings that don’t align with your own,” on-level government teacher Rod McCall said. “Government can only do what we allow it to do. Voting is one of the best, and easiest, ways to let the government know what we want or don’t want.”

A study conducted by the American Psychological Association, and an article from the Florida Atlantic University, suggests political alienation is influencing younger generations as parents lose hope in politics. In other words, because children are raised to hold a negative connotation towards politics, voter turnout percentages have declined rapidly through the years, especially in Gen-Z.

“As a new and upcoming generation, it is important for us to vote in order to have a say in politics,” senior Lizzy Jones said. “Voting needs to continue in order for the United States to call itself a democracy.”

According to PHS government teacher and adviser for Junior State of America Scott Nichols, if the senior class of each PISD High School – approximately 1580 students, all voted on the same issue, it would likely be enough influence to turn the election in their favor.

Please make your voice heard and work for the change you seek.

— Scott Nichols, government teacher

The foundation of Democracy is the principle that power resides within the hands of the people rather than solely in the hands of a centralized government. If citizens of the United States of America are to maintain this power, they must exercise their right to vote on elected officials and issues such as bonds. If Gen Z, who tend to be involved in a lot of online political activism, want to have their voice heard by the government, they must make their beliefs apparent through the process of electing officials they think represent them best.

Students can use this link to register to vote. Fill out voter information, print the form, and mail it to the address listed. You will receive a registration card in the mail approximately 30 days after registering.

“If you are at least 17 and a half years old, a US citizen, and a resident in Texas then you can register to vote in Texas, ” Nichols said. “You must register to vote at least 30 days prior to an election you intend to vote in. Please make your voice heard and work for the change you seek.”

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About the Contributors
Lauren Clayton
Lauren Clayton, Reporter
Lauren Clayton is a senior at Prosper High School, fulfilling her second year as a member of the Eagle Nation Online staff. She is a reporter with a passion for environmental and mental health stories. Outside of school she enjoys writing fantasy, drawing, and caring for her pet uromastyx. After graduating she plans to attend UT Arlington and pursue a degree in Herpetology.
Tess Gagliano
Tess Gagliano, Executive Design Editor
Tess Gagliano is a Senior at Prosper High School and currently serves as an Executive Design Editor for Eagle Nation Online and Eagle Nation Times. Outside of school she enjoys reading, writing, and working on her own art. She also plays club volleyball, makes jewelry, and helps take care of foster cats and other animals on the family farm. Awards and Honor Societies: National Honor Society National Art Honor Society Quill and Scroll 2023 UIL Ready Writing: All Tournament Best TAJE 2024 Best in Texas Entertainment Review, Honorable Mention TAJE 2024 Best in Texas News Magazine Cover, Honorable Mention 2023 ATPI Fall Photo Contest: 3rd Place Photostory 2023 Quill & Scroll Finalist / News Magazine Front Page Design  
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