The two biggest voter hashtags on social media right now are #walkouttovote and #voteyourfuture. They were both instituted by young people for young people to increase voter turn out in upcoming elections.
Hashtag #walkouttovote was created as a call to action. On November 6th at 10am students in high schools and colleges across the country will walk out of class and march to the mid-term election polls to cheer each other on as those eligible cast their votes. Even if students aren’t old enough to vote, they are still encouraged to lead and participate in the walkout to help make the message heard. As of today, there are over 500 organized events scheduled with teachers and parents joining to support the effort.
The Walkout to Vote project was founded by the ‘Future Coalition’ – a national network of youth-led organizations and initiatives collaborating to share resources and ideas, all with a common goal of making the future a better, safer, and a more just place for everyone.
Another important election significantly important to national youth is Nigeria’s presidential election in February. Nigeria is Africa’s largest economy and 26th in the world. A stable and peaceful Nigeria will contribute to Africa’s rise and integration into the global economy. On the other hand, an unstable, stagnant and conflict-driven Nigeria will be a threat to regional and global stability.
Internally, Nigeria’s youth have begun hashtagging #VoteYourFuture to form a community to discuss the issues most impacting their lives. The community behind #VoteYourFuture is supported by ONE, a non-profit advocacy organization helping Nigerian youth organize to create the future they want to see.
Last month ONE sponsored a Vote Your Future rally and three thousand young people from across Nigeria gathered IRL in the capital of Abuja to talk about the issues and plan for the presidential elections in February 2019.
“It’s not enough to complain about the issues in Nigeria. It’s also not enough to suggest possible solutions to our problems. Nigeria can’t save herself, we have to come together to save her.”
-Ntami Eborty, participant at the ‘Vote Your Future’ youth rally in Nigeria
According to ONE, what matters most to young Nigerians is a lower unemployment rate, ending corruption, improving healthcare, access to education and investment in agriculture. And they plan to head to the polls next year to cast their presidential vote and make their demands heard.
For all of you reading this, the point of this article is to remind you it is never too late to make change happen, you are never too young or too old to contribute, and every vote counts – Just Do It.