I write these letters because as a lifelong Democrat I’m trying to do my part to encourage folks to get engaged and to care enough about our country’s political discourse, so they don’t waste their vote. Voting is the only way every individual can share their voice on the important issues of the day. And yet, sometimes I feel I’m just spitting into the wind, especially when it comes to young citizens.

Eighty million people failed to vote in the 2020 election, and the most significant demographic absent were young voters. And of course, this year when the most likely choices atop the presidential tickets are 77- and 80-year-old men, it’s not surprising that young citizens might feel their voice is not represented. But this is a misconception that must be clarified not only to potential young voters but all voters alike.

When you vote in a presidential election you are voting not just for the top of the ticket, but for all the policies and values that ticket represents. And in 2024 there will only be one ticket that will represent the will of the majority of voters.

Poll after poll shows that the dysfunctional Republican party in state after state is passing unpopular legislation when it comes to women’s rights, gun regulation, voting rights, minority rights, and other policies that could impact young citizens for decades. So, if younger citizens decide to sit home like they have in the past it could surely be to their own peril.

Douglas Campbell, Port Charlotte