How You Can Get Involved in the 2020 Election

The 2020 presidential election is right around the corner, and this year more than ever, younger generations have become more involved in politics. In recent months, Gen Z teens and young adults have accomplished astonishing feats in the political realm, such as organizing rallies and protests, as well as using their social media expertise to raise awareness for individuals and organizations in need. Although most teenagers are unable to vote in this year’s election, there are still many ways that students can continue to use their voices and contribute to the upcoming election process. 

The most worthwhile thing students can do to get involved in politics is to educate themselves. As young adults, it is crucial for teens to explore their own political opinions and beliefs, rather than just falling in line with what they’ve been taught by their parents. This doesn’t necessarily mean that teenagers are supposed to disagree with their parents but is important to remember that for the most part, parents were raised in an entirely different social and political environment, so the principles that they grew up on and have carried with them may not be congruent with what much of today’s youth believes. The best way for teens to form a political opinion is to look at a wide variety of credible sources from both political parties and decide which beliefs resonate best with their morals. Looking for reliable news outlets? Try NBC News, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, or CBS News, all of which are credible and primarily unbiased. Those who are not old enough to vote in the 2020 election will be in future elections, so it is helpful to have a head start and get informed in advance.

In addition, it is a good idea to stay up to date on current political issues and make sure to follow election updates. The 2020 presidential debates have just begun, and are arguably the most important part of the presidential race to pay attention to. The first debate took place on September 29th (those who missed it can check out clips or highlights online), and the remaining two are scheduled for October 15th and 22nd. These debates allow political candidates to express their opinions and standpoints on various current issues. It is crucial to know where candidates stand on these issues and to understand how they would handle important matters during their presidency, so voters know exactly what they are voting for. For those who are not yet eligible to vote, it is still a good idea to follow the election race, so that in the future they have a solid understanding of how the election process works, and how they feel about important issues that candidates often deal with during their campaigns and presidencies. 

Another way for students to stay involved in politics is to contribute to current important causes. This year has seen a surge in social and political movements, such as the Black Lives Matter movement. Now more than ever, students are using their voices and their platforms to raise awareness and fight for what they believe in. Signing petitions, volunteering at local rallies, and attending protests are all simple yet effective ways to help publicize an important cause. However, in light of the global pandemic that has taken the biggest toll on the U.S., many are—rightfully so—weary of social interaction, especially on such a large scale that a rally or protest would entail. Still, there are many ways to be instrumental in sociopolitical movements. Teens and adults alike have taken to their social media platforms to vocalize their political opinions. Although simple, social media can be a powerful means of broadcasting campaigns and spread the word of causes in need. 

Lastly, if you are eighteen and eligible, the most effective thing to do is vote. Every vote really does count, so those who can, should, rather than sitting back end letting the rest of the population decide the country’s fate for the next four years. Ineligible students can still stay involved on Election Day by signing up to be an election judge, to help the polls run orderly and efficiently. 

With the 2020 presidential race coming down to the wire, this is the most important time to pay attention to politics and get involved in any way possible. Every election is important of course, but it is clear that tension is high in the political atmosphere this year. As citizens of a democratic society, Americans are allowed to speak their minds and have their opinions heard, and with the salience of elections, so citizens must take this opportunity.