Rock The Vote: Faces Of A New Activist Generation

This is your election: take it back

With the country in full-blown election mode, in a race that has seemingly spawned more tight-knit party unity but also divisiveness (and arguably, hateful rhetoric) than in any of recent memory, and with all-important issues on the line from tax reform to women's health, it's more crucial than ever to exercise our right to vote. According to the Center for American Progress, there are currently 95 million millennials in the United States, comprising about 40 percent of the eligible vote.
 
Our generation has clear political influence but has been dragged historically by poor turnout at the polls. Labeled "social media activists," we are plagued by our willingness to lend our voice to issues on Twitter and Instagram, but not to ballots. About 21 percent of millennials voted in 2014. It can be easy to become discouraged with distrust in the system (Arizona's recent gaffe is no exception) but it's also been proven that when millennials participate en masse, real change happens.
 
The current presidential race has ignited a passion in the under-35 crowd in a way not seen in previous elections. Bernie Sanders alluded to this recently during a campaign stop in Illinois, suggesting that his campaign is most successful when millennials turn out to vote. It is no small number to scoff at, 40 percent, and with such sway in the hands of our generation, a generation that is the most educated and diverse in American history, it's critical to realize that yes, we can make a difference.
 
Helping to raise awareness to the issues that affect millennials is Rock the Vote, a nonprofit started in 1990 aimed at driving youth to the polls. This year Rock the Vote started initiative "Millenial Nation" to help give a voice and face to the issues that affect us today. No pomposity from debates, no bashing from mudslinging ads, no tiptoeing around issues: just stories from individuals on what matters to them in this presidential race. Check out six Millenial Nation faces below, like Jackeline, who unabashedly calls out the lack of diversity representation in our government, and Jeffery, who points out broken immigration laws, saying, "I’m fine making people uncomfortable." Hey, candidates, we're listening, and we're shouting back.
 
Remember to check your voting eligibility, find out when you can vote, and check out more from Rock the Vote's Millennial Nation project to hear other stories about what people truly care about when it comes to the issues.