By Raquel Rogers
Former First Lady Michelle Obama’s When We All Vote launched a nonpartisan campaign that aims to boost youth voter participation ahead of the 2022 midterm election. On Sept. 14, she launched the Vote Future campaign alongside Climate Power. The organization uses research and polling data to influence the national conversation on climate change action. The joint nonpartisan initiative will educate young voters about the benefits of the Inflation Reduction Act, which incentivizes the domestic production of clean energy sources like solar, wind and clean hydrogen.
“When we look at everything happening in the world today, it’s clear that we need to turn our awareness into action to protect our environment,” said Liza Koshy, co-chair of When We All Vote. “For years, Gen Z has been speaking up and speaking out for climate action, and now we’ll bring even more young people into the conversation both in their communities and at the ballot box with Vote Future.”
Participants can use Vote Future’s central online hub to check their voter registration, find polling locations and take a pledge to vote ahead of the 2022 midterm election. When We All Vote and Climate Power held a special event in honor of the initiative.
Celebrity guests joined both organizations to help young people register to vote on the website and empower them with the knowledge to feel confident and informed during the election. The event occurred the day before National Voter Registration Day on Sept. 20.
A study by Tufts University Research noted that youth voter participation increased by 11 percentage points in 2020 as compared to 2016. Over 50% of voters ages 18-29 voted in the 2020 election. The data shows a drastic change compared to the presidential election in 2016, when only 42-44% of young voters cast their ballots.
Young voters of color were largely to thank for president Biden’s historic win. An estimated 87% of Black youth and 73% f Latino youth participated in the election in 2020. Young Black and Latino voters also dominated the polls in key states like Georgia and Michigan.
“Young people will determine the outcome of this November’s midterms,” said Lori Lodes, executive director of Climate Power. “With the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act’s historic investments in climate action, we have an unprecedented opportunity to motivate young people to turn out to the polls. This campaign will educate them about the Inflation Reduction Act’s climate benefits and give them the tools they need to make their voices heard.”