Year after year, the youngest voters always end up with the lowest turnout rate among all age groups. Despite that, students who are nearing 18 say they're committed and excited about voting.
In the 2018 midterm election, 22% of younger voters turned out to vote, higher than the last two midterms but well off the 39.5% that showed up in 2016. Meanwhile, half of all registered voters between 35-64 cast ballots last year.
But when asked if they’re going to be voters, a group of kids at Westland High School near Columbus were very clear: yes.
The students this year had a chance to use real voting machines to vote for their school's homecoming court. It's a way to demonstrate the state's new machines and encourage young people to participate in the election process.
Morgan Hall, 17, had a guess why most people 18-24 don’t vote.
“It’s probably because they think that it doesn’t affect them which really it does. I think it affects us most out of anyone,” Hall said. “Anyone older, our parents have already been through this. So it’s really important for us to get out there and vote.”
Alexandra Moller, 16, agreed.
“A lot of people think their opinion doesn’t matter, but voting is a way you can show your opinion does matter and that it’s going to count,” Moller said.
And 17-year-old Rachael Kibbey, who signed up to be a poll worker this fall, had some advice for other kids her age:
“We’re just the change,” Kibbey said. “If we want to see a change, we are the people who have to take the action.”