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Election day

"I Voted" stickers were being handed out at many polling places to voters who cast ballots in the April consolidated election. 

America’s younger generation wants change.

They want elected leaders more in tune with their views on key issues and closer to their age.

That’s what a sampling of young people, between the ages of 15 and 34, said in an AP-NORC and MTV poll conducted this summer.

Key takeaways from the poll include:

  • Six in 10 say that their generation is feeling motivated to make positive change in the country. And 79 percent think leaders from their generation would do a better job running the country.
  • Fewer than half are at least moderately excited about a candidate who is a lifelong politician.
  • About two-thirds said they are extremely or very excited to vote for a candidate who cares about the issues they care about. More than half say the economy, immigration and health care are key issues of concern.

Look familiar? We’re sure those same issues would rate high on nearly everyone’s list. What is lacking is a clear solution or compromise to address these and other issues.

Which brings us to the next set of poll results.

Fifty-seven percent of those polled said they are doubtful that people of different political views can come together and work out their differences, and less than 1 in 5 hold out hope that these political divisions will heal over the next five years. Just 1 in 10 have felt positive or excited about the state of the country in the past month, and about 7 in 10 say American politics are dysfunctional.

To counter this, 63 percent of young people say that voting in the 2018 midterms will allow their generation to effect real change in the government.

Like those polled, we welcome change. We too are tired of elections involving career politicians running uncontested or facing token opposition. A spirited election process that forces candidates to take stands on issues, provide alternative solutions and be held accountable for what they’ve done or haven’t done while in office benefits everyone.

Most of the poll numbers point to a generation that is fed up and ready to take control, but only a third say they are certain to vote in the upcoming election. It appears these young people may be more like their elders than they’d like to admit.

So, the question remains. Will these young people step up on Election Day?

That’s the only poll that matters.

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