With Generation Z emerging as the new voting group, the updated voting law guidance came just in time. The U.S. Dept. of Justice recently released federal statute guidelines that educate Americans on various voting methods and post-election “audits.” The materials were made public in order to provide American voters with a better understanding of what to expect when voting this year.
In Attorney General Merrick B. Garland’s speech last month on voting rights, he states “There are many things that are open to debate in America. But the right of all eligible citizens to vote is not one of them. The right to vote is the cornerstone of our democracy, the right from which all other rights ultimately flow.”
African American voters have always expressed a deep concern for their right to properly and safely vote due to years of discrimination and voter suppression. This has been an obvious racial injustice in the Black community.
According to the Federal Law Constraints on Post-Election Audits, state and local election officials must “secure a more effective protection of the right to vote,” and the Civil Rights Act requires that federal elections records be preserved and retained.
But where does that leave Gen Z voters as states have passed various bills to restrict voting rights?
According to CNN, the Baby boomer generation is ending a nearly four-decade run as the dominant generation in the U.S. electorate. Emerging Gen Z voters are now expected to be the majority vote in upcoming years of election. By the year 2024, Americans born in 1981 or after (millennials and Gen Z), will represent a much larger share of eligible voters, nearly 45%, than the Baby boomers, who will compose about 35% of voters.
Compared to millennials, Gen Z is more diverse, more politically engaged and are not tied to political party labels. They are also a generation that cares about public issues and want to see those issues resolved. Although the guidance keeps voters informed on proper voting procedures and actions, it does not address the bills and restrictions that will keep voters from voting.
COVID-19 guidelines and restrictions are of course another concern for American voters. Voters are not only worried about not having their votes counted properly, due to the fraud allegations of the 2020 Presidential elections, but they are also concerned about the risks of contracting the virus. Although safety methods will be taken, qualified Americans are set on voting from the comfort of their homes.
Americans can only hope these guidance documents would help increase this year’s voting process and maintain a steady flow of justice. With the obvious injustice of voting restrictions, it will be interesting to see how Gen Z voters will handle this process.