Kick Starting the UK Voting Expedition By Aleese Holiday
“I think we can learn from the UK’s effective use of socializing agents, such as civic education and familial engagement, in order to improve youth voter turnout in the US,”
said senior, Jason McCay-Moran when asked how he thought this expedition to the UK would help improve voter turnout and political engagement in young demographics in the US. In May of 2017, as the five upcoming seniors, we set out to plan an expedition and fieldwork that would make a greater impact on the community. We struggled to find something we could all connect to that could make a measurable and authentic impact. Finally, in October, we identified that our generation of 18-25 year olds in the United States have a lower voter turnout than other demographics. We decided to investigate how to improve our generation’s voter turnout by visiting a country with rapidly rising youth voter turnout – the UK.
We decided to compare our voting system to that of the UK, find out what the differences are, and discover ways to contribute to raising voter turnout in our own country.
To compare the US to the UK, we will be doing a survey that will collect data on voter interest and voter turnout for all demographics. This data will be used to help further our analysis of what the US should change in order to have greater youth voter turnout. We will also be conducting individual interviews, gathering the stories of the people we meet to better understand the overall views of the UK citizens. Some of these interviews will be with experts, others with youth our age, and some with random citizens we survey.
11TH AND 12TH GRADE STUDENTS FROM TAHOE EXPEDITION ACADEMY LAND IN THE UK AFTER 17 HOUR TRAVEL DAY TO INVESTIGATE YOUTH VOTING AND CIVIC ENGAGEMENT
We believe that in our explorations in the UK, we will find that the UK’s focus on civic engagement will give youth the resources that they need to be participatory in the voting process. We value and admire the UK’s capacity to grow and change their political system. We believe that we will be able to find differences in the UK system that will point to solutions to our problems in the US, such as campaign tactics, the multi-party system, and the inclusivity of all voters. We hope our experts will have professional opinions and statistics on why the youth in the UK still aren’t voting as much as older demographics and we can apply that to the US youth.
After a 17 hour travel day, 7 hour time change, and 10-mile hike, we have started our journey through the U.K. We hope to find the answers to our questions here, and we are very excited to learn what we can here in the UK!