A new Gallup poll shows that only 47 percent of voters ages 18 to 35 say they are definitely going to vote on Election Day.
Compare that to the same demographic in 2008 when President Barack Obama first campaigned for the White House, and millennial voters are seeing a 27 percent drop in participation.
Knowing just how important this year’s election is, Roland Martin, host of NewsOne Now, decided to help young voters who are planning on sitting out the 2016 electoral process – whether for lack of enthusiasm, excitement about either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, and/or favoritism of a third-party candidate who statistically will be unable to win.
Martin told viewers, especially those between the ages of 18 and 35, “You can’t run your mouth talking about ‘Oh, the candidates are not appealing to us, they’re not speaking to our issues.'”
Martin explained that politicians running for office typically target older voters, “because they are more likely to come out” and vote on Election Day. He added candidates seeking public office “don’t have to spend as much time trying to excite somebody who is young” versus older seasoned voters.
At some point, millennial voters are going to have to “wake the hell up and realize no one is going to pay attention to you unless you actually go to the polls and vote in large numbers,” Martin said.
After detailing many of the main concerns young voters may have about student loan debt, climate change, and the economy, Martin said, “Thinking that I can sit at home and do nothing makes no sense to me.”
NewsOne Now panelist Steve Munisteri, former three-term Texas GOP State Chair, believes younger voters are not as concerned about these issues at their current ages.
Martin quickly dismissed Munisteri’s assessment, saying, “There are things that you are worried about at 25 that still matter.”
Martin continued: “You can’t be young and whine about voter suppression and not think who’s in charge doesn’t impact voter suppression, and who they put on the federal court will not impact the laws dealing with voter suppression.
“You can’t say ‘I care about criminal justice reform’ or ‘I care about police brutality’ and not realize that is also impacted by who we put in office.”
He concluded: “If you wake up the Wednesday after Election Day and then you feel like the folks in England with Brexit and you go, ‘What the hell just happened’ … If you don’t have a sticker that says I voted … Shut up.”
Watch Roland Martin and the NewsOne Now panel discuss why millennial voters need to get out and vote in the video clip above.
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty