Jonathan Goldman: Urges young activists to get involved in politics

  • jacoblund

Published: 12/29/2017 8:07:48 PM
Urges young activists to get involved in politics

When you’re under 18 and interested in getting involved in politics, there are several opportunities to get your feet wet.

For example, you can get involved with your school committee, join local political advocacy groups and help on campaigns.

However, there is one area from which people under 18 are categorically excluded: voting. As a result, it can feel exasperating to be unable to participate in this essential democratic process.

Fortunately, we have people fighting for youth rights across Massachusetts. A state law which took effect in August 2016 after the hard work of MassVOTE, Kate Donaghue and others, allows for 16- and 17-year-olds to register to Uvote before they are eligible in 2018. This means they can already be registered once the 2018 election rolls around.

As long as you are a US citizen, 16 years old, and not currently incarcerated for a felony, you can submit a voter registration form to your local election official who will place you on the list of preregistrants. You will then receive a preregistration notice by mail, confirming receipt of your application.

Preregistration may be done online, by mail, or in person at any voter registration location. For more information, visit https://www.sec.state.ma.us/ele/eleifv/howreg.htm.

The push for increasing youth representation doesn’t stop there. The Northampton Mayor’s Youth Commission is working to lower the municipal voting age to 16. In addition, Northampton’s High School Democrats have been a powerhouse in helping phone bank for multiple candidates.

And, along with several other youths in the area, I am working to revive the Western Massachusetts Young Democrats. Let’s continue this trend and build opportunities for the voice of youth in government.

If you’re 16 or 17, register to vote now. For everyone else, help support the young activists who are the future leaders of our community.

Jonathan Goldman

Florence


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