Our Voices 2020: What Young People Have to Say About the Democratic Process

Categories: Misc.Vote

Young people are owning our political power and leading in unprecedented ways at and beyond the ballot box. We are canvassing for candidates, mobilizing on the issues, requesting absentee ballots, and showing up at the polls. We are regularly taking to the streets to strike and to protest. We are talking to our communities about issues that matter to us. We are strategizing on TikTok. We are joining in solidarity with our neighbors to demand justice and action. 

Yet we still fall behind older voters in Election Day turnout. Consequently, every election cycle we fall back into the same pattern: Political pundits predicting, analyzing, and shaming young people’s turnout—without ever asking young people “why.” We know this is not how change happens, so we decided to ask the questions that needed answers and listen to young people who deserve to be heard.  

With the support of youth-serving organizations as well as individuals in the Platform community, we hosted a nationwide Listening Tour composed of 24 Listening Sessions. Spanning approximately 36 hours with over 200 registrants ages 18-29, we captured the perspectives and insights of the youngest voting bloc—from 33 states, including Washington, DC (statehood now). Now, we are pleased to present the Our Voices 2020 Report: What Young People Are Saying About the Democratic Process.

We want to thank the following individuals and organizations for hosting Listening Sessions:

End Rape On Campus | Feminist Campus | Future Coalition | In Her Shoes Millennial Career Poll | Population Connection Action Fund/#Fight4HER Pride In Running | The Melanin Collective | The Reclaim

Bernadette Hopen | Carly Glenn | Charisse Myers | Chiquita Jackson | Jada Kissi | Jordan Berger | Niarah Russell | Serena Saunders | Sophia Leavitt| Victoria Tellez | Zahra Hajee

Read the Executive Summary:

This report combines participants’ quotes with Platform’s own analysis. We attribute only the quotes, where explicitly mentioned, to the individuals included herein. The analysis does not necessarily reflect the perspectives of any individual/organization, outside Platform, listed in relation to this report.