Millennials make up 31% of the voting-eligible population of the U.S.

<br>

Nearly 70 million voting-age millennials could help swing next month’s election — if they vote.

An April 2016 Pew Research study found that voting-age millennials (adults between the ages of 18 and 35) have nearly tied baby boomers (ages 52-70) in terms of their share of the electorate, both making up 31% of the voting-eligible population in the U.S.

Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images.

There’s just one problem: While they’re tied for the largest share of eligible voters, the generation’s low turnout (just 46% of millennials say they voted in 2012, compared to 69% and 61% of boomers and Gen X-ers, respectively) means it might be a while until the group claims its rightful share of political clout. What gives?

Maybe part of the problem is how we talk to (and about) younger voters. A new video plays on this theme.

As part of his “Save the Day” campaign, writer and director Joss Whedon has released a series of videos aimed at getting people excited about heading to the polls on Nov. 8.

His latest, “The Youth,” takes a hilarious look at the often-misguided attempts to connect with younger voters, playing on stereotypes of millennials as being shallow and entitled.

Nicole Byer demonstrates how not to do youth outreach. GIF from Save the Day/YouTube.

The video stars Bill Hader as a director and Nicole Byer as herself, an actress filming a “get out the vote” public service announcement gone horribly wrong. It includes some cringeworthy lines, such as one that describes the candidates as “not exactly Justin Bieber or ‘the Drake.'”

Yay, a Tinder reference. GIF from Save the Day/YouTube.

The truth is that millennials have some real concerns when it comes to politics — and no, they don’t revolve around pop culture or self-obsession.

Headlines like “When It Comes to Politics, Do Millennials Care About Anything?” probably don’t inspire hope in those already pessimistic about the generation’s commitment to civil society. But if you look a little deeper, it becomes clear that millennials certainly do care about politics.

Byer confronts Hader about the script. GIF from Save the Day/YouTube.

Education, the economy, and health care are big issues for millennials. The same can be said about renewable energy and common-sense gun safety measures. These are real people with a real interest in real issues that all too often are brushed off by politicians.

Millennials might just surprise the electorate this year (and here’s hoping they do). A new survey finds that 83% of millennials are registered to vote. The question is now a matter of whether they’ll cast ballots.

Without young voters, Barack Obama would have lost Ohio, Florida, Virginia, and Pennsylvania (and the election) in 2012. In 2008, under-30 voters made the difference in Indiana, North Carolina, and Virginia (and again, the election) for President Obama.

Powerful yet sometimes under-appreciated, millennials are in a position to play a similarly huge role in the 2016 election. Maybe they’ll even bust up some of those negative stereotypes in the process.

Whedon, Hader, and Byer on set. Photo courtesy of Save the Day.

Check your voter registration at SaveTheDay.Vote, bust up those anti-millennial stereotypes, and check out Whedon’s “The Youth” video below.

Vote. Regardless of which candidate you support or what issues mean the most to you, you should vote. A healthy democracy — a healthy republic — is one in which we all participate.

<br>

Leave a Reply