Another Election, Another Reason to Talk About Voting and Health
In October 2020, as British Columbians were navigating an election, we wrote a blog post called “Why Voting is Good for Your Health and Our Collective Health.” Nearly a year later, we’re at a similar place, yet this time it’s a federal election.
While we are in a similar place with another election, we’re not really in the same place as last Fall. This time around, we have a new tool in our pockets—or arms, rather.
With COVID-19 vaccines rolling out over the past eight months, and the vaccination rates in BC at a decent level overall, this election may have a different tone as we start to look ahead to pandemic recovery and future planning.
The intention of our blog post last year was to highlight why voting is connected to health, and that still stands. This time, we want to also focus a little more on why we want everyone, but especially young adults, to think about this message.
If you’ve read the “Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Health and Well-Being of Young Adults in British Columbia” and report, you’ll know that young adults are facing disproportionate impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic measures, and that the pandemic has widened gaps in inequities for many of those aged 18-30. The report also notes that young adults report feeling disempowered and unheard.
Healthy policy and planning often discounts young adults because they represent a smaller proportion of voter turnout.
Let’s change that. Let’s think about why it’s so important for young adults to have the opportunity to stand up for their rights and their health because it is during this life phase that young people set the stage for their lifelong well-being. This thereby plays a role in healthy communities, and our population health overall. And that is important no matter your age.
We are at such a critical time in our society, for many reasons—the pandemic, climate change, the overdose crisis, to name just a few—and this means it is increasingly critical that we use our voices, that we stand up and express our values, concerns, hopes, and expectations.
We have another opportunity to do that in September. If you’re a young adult, or you know a young adult, think about what it means to use your voice to vote, and to encourage others to do the same.
So please read (or reread!) our blog from last year, check out the resources we shared, and importantly, remember that it is our right and privilege to have the ability to express our views with our vote. Whether you’re a young adult or not.
By using your vote, your individual action helps population health, and you are choosing to Activate Health.
Read “Why Voting is Good for Your Health and Our Collective Health” here.