Young voters, especially youth of color, turned out in record numbers for the 2020 Election. In fact, a historic high of 55% of young people turned out to vote in 2020, an increase of 9% from 2016. Since then, young people’s enthusiasm has been met with an alarming rise in voter suppression bills aimed at restricting our freedom to vote. As of April 2021, 361 restrictive voting bills have been introduced in 47 states.
These bills take aim at restricting early and absentee voting, enacting stricter voter ID laws, and making voter registration harder. With 70% of youth voting early or by mail in the 2020 Election, these bills target young voters with surgical precision. In this 50th anniversary year of the Twenty-Sixth Amendment, which lowered the voting age to 18 and prohibits age discrimination in voting, this will not stand. Its promise clearly remains unfilled.
That’s why we must rise up! At Rise Up Weekend, we’re rising up against the alarming increase in voter suppression bills, and we’re rising up in support of each other, an inclusive democracy, and expanding voting rights for all Americans. When we organize our campuses and communities and vote in every election every time, we lead our democracy and nation forward.