I am the father of four children that are defined as “Millennials.” All are of legal voting age and not one of them was planning to vote in today’s elections. This makes me sad, frustrated and confused all at the same time. I’m not mad at them or anything like that, just more curious about why they feel the way that they do about voting.
My kids are all working their way toward college degrees or already graduated. Three of them live here in the Twin Cities and one is teaching overseas in Thailand. Yesterday my wife asked the seemingly innocuous question, via a running family text stream that we have going, “when do all of you plan to vote tomorrow?”
The responses that ensued ranged from, “I don’t have time,” to “I don’t know where I’m supposed to do it.” Suffice it to say that all of these were excuses and Jean gave them a thoughtful response of, “you do know that many people have died so that you have the right to vote, so maybe you can make the time and figure out where to do it.”
In the end, we agreed to all vote here in Eden Prairie and have dinner afterwards. Whether or not that actually happens, we’ll see. I can attest to the fact that Jean and I will do our part to give rides back to school and do what it takes, but the whole exchange left me with a nagging question:
Why can we transfer money, virtually sign documents and securely transfer titles of things via the web but we cannot verify identity to make it easy to vote?
If this ties back to what, to me at least, is the notion that requiring someone to prove their identity to vote is somehow an infringement on their rights we should get over that. I have to show my ID to get on a plane and it doesn’t bother me in the least. If there’s nothing to hide, why not show an ID?
If we want this generation of voters to express their opinions, I will go out on a limb and say that my kids are not unusual in their voter apathy, let’s make a concerted effort to bring about a mobile system for voting. I believe that our future depends on getting these young folks involved in the process that makes our country great.