7/19/2023 - Politics and Society

_ What role do young people play in the new electoral scenario?

By Stefanía Bargardi

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VOTO JOVEN, VOTO ÚTIL: What role do young people play in the new electoral scenario?

In recent years, the leading political parties and candidates who competed in the polls have shown a clear inclination to a much more specific target audience than in other decades. In addition, they have incorporated digital political propaganda tools and platforms, which is consistent with the new audience. This is due to three reasons: structural demographic changes in Argentina, the new election law of young and electoral vote P.A.S.O; and the massivity of Social Networks. But what role do young people have in the new electoral scenario?

The Argentine electoral system seems increasingly complex and difficult to understand, but if we are sure of something, it is that the young vote is defining for the next election. The result that youth can launch is independent of the variety of list systems, dates and turn of elections at different levels of government. We understand a little better than we're talking about.

Changes in the demographic structure

According to the latest data from Census 2022 and the National Institute of Statistics and Census, the total population of Argentina is approximately 45,808,747 people, but only 34,332,992 are in a position to vote, i.e. almost 75%.

Buenos Aires together with Córdoba, Santa Fe and the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires represent the 4 districts with the highest percentage of voters across the country, reaching more than one 60% among all, which makes clear the electoral concentration in these provinces.

Now, if we focus on the young population capable of emitting suffrage, the conglomerate of adolescents, young people and adults between 16 and 35 years is calculated in nearly 13 million people, therefore, the young standard represents 30% of the total population and 40% of the electoral standard.

It is a more significant number to take as a specific public to which to point out the electoral campaigns, and which has generations with a very differential representative gap in relation to adults and the elderly, with very particular concerns, desires and realities.

Changes in electoral law: Optional vote since 16 and elections P.A.S.O.

Voting is exercising the political right to choose the authorities that will represent occupying the different public positions of the country. It is universal, because it is a right that corresponds to all Argentines over 16 years regardless of their race, gender, beliefs or social condition. It is equal because the value you have your vote is the same for all citizens. It's a secret, so no one can influence your vote. And it is obligatory, because voting is not just a right, it is a duty.

The 2012 reform of the Citizenship Law (Law 26,774) extended the right to vote in elections to young people between 16 and 17 years of our country, converting them into protagonists of the democratic exercise (before, they only voted over 18 years).Although the regulation in our country predicts that the vote is compulsory, the law does not impose sanctions for those under the age of 18 who decide not to do so, but for those over the age of 18. In turn, the greater than 70 years are also not required to compete at the tables, nor sanctioned if they do not.

The new young voters (persons 16 and 17 years old), constitute a total of 795,561 people and represent 2.32% of the national standard, which means they can influence the results of an election and constitute a new mass with the need to be represented. On the other hand, electoral participation varies not only by age group but by electoral turn: In the 2019 presidential elections, participation in PASO was 76.40%, while in general the percentage exceeded 80% of the standard. This trend in in the general elections are busier to the polls than in PASO It is repeated since the Open Primary were first implemented, Simultaneous and Obligatory.

The other change introduced were the primary elections, also called PASO (First, Open, Simultaneous and Obligatory) which were created in 2009, after the approval of Law No 26.571.2. Two questions are basically defined: which parties are entitled to present themselves to national elections (which, according to the law, are those who obtain at least 1.5 % of the votes validly issued) and the final list will also be defined which will represent each political party in the general elections, hence the open internal.

The difference between the P.A.S.O. (13 August) and the general choice (22 October) With regard to the way it is voted, there is only one bully for each grouping, in the P.A.S.O. each political grouping can present as many lists to compete for the same position as you wish. (Ej. Bullrich or Larreta in Cambiemos; or Mass or Grabois in the USA by the Homeland, each double compite for president by the same party, but only one for each party will race the general election).

A very important feature of these elections is that many districts decided to overthrow the elections to vote local and provincial authorities on different dates from the vote of national authorities. Besides, pIt should happen that there are political groups that present a single list for a position or several lists to compete in an “internal”. The parties presenting a single list will be the final one that passes directly to the October elections if it exceeds 1.5% of the votes. (e.g. Javier Milei with “Advanced Freedom” and Juan Schiaretti with “Let’s do it for our country”).

The Digital Campaign

All right, now. social networks in politics make it easier to reach voters more directly, improve communication with them, but in addition to allowing them to address a more personalized message, add to interaction, since it is not only a means of diffusion, but allows users to respond. That is why the effort of the great figures of officialism and the opposition to empathize with the young culture responds to a simple fact: more than 13 million young people are informed and prepared to vote through social networks, because they do not often resort to the traditional media and are in permanent contact with digital media (without considering that almost all the electorate - young and not young - today has social networks, or at least WhatsApp).

According to a survey of Taquión, in the last few weeks more than 850,000 times the term “spot” on Twitter was mentioned only, reaching more than 6 million views between Bullrich spots, Milei and Larreta together {relevant until July 11,}, while those spots that generate more interaction by drifting into conversation volume were those of Massa and Bullrich overcoming the 50,000 mentions. The first official spots have had a high impact on digital conversation and, although the main focus of the Argentina policy finds more participation on Twitter, it also has diffusion through Instagram, Facebook and WhatsApp, among others.

However, the social network that aroused the interest of the Campaign Chiefs to capture the young audience is undoubtedly Tik Tok (with more than 16 million users in Argentina): this platform includes content that goes beyond advertising and implies the participation of candidates in more personal trembles and conversations, which even roçam the bizarre, but which They capture youthful attention with a much more specific and captivating algorithm.

The new tik tok dynamics set aside the graph to achieve audience attraction through audiovisual content, with interactive videos that can include: from the campaign spot, a ping pong of questions and answers or a tremble with a music or fashion dance. And that’s why applicants should aggiornarse and show a more human profile and even “actoral”capable of generating viralization.

Youth vote, useful vote

For conclusion and with all these features exposed, account must be taken of the Young vote and useful vote are two distinct variables, but they can become dependent.

By useful vote (or strategic) it is understood to be a “modality of deciding the citizen’s vote according to the possible outcome of the elections. The useful vote attaches maximum importance to winning the choice, while trying to avoid the dispersion of the vote in multiple alternatives. Requires an analysis of the possibilities of each candidate and his real chances in an election. This strategy tends to polarize a choice.”

For example, in these presidential elections of 2023, if we combine the P.A.S.O. with the voteI, a more liberal elector than in a final election would vote Javier Milei (Advanced Freedom), in the P.A.S.O. Probably do not vote for Milei because his party does not have interns, so it would come to the general election of October directly if it gets at least 1.5% of the votes, without competing with another candidate of his party (at some point would have an assured arrival). For this reason, in the PASO it would be inclined by its most affinity candidate within the Front of Cambiemos (which has internal), choosing between Patricia Bullrich u Horacio R. Larreta. And I would do this so that, in the general election of October, your most similar options are able to win. And so you can have options where you are best represented by each party in the general election.

But why do I vote young?

The enlargement of the electorate with the optional vote since the age of 16, together with the young population growth, generated a The largest audience of people between the ages of 16 and 35, who use precisely the different digital platforms as a means of information (Finguru is one of them). The ease of arrival of electoral campaigns in these ways exerts a greater influence on young people than traditional media (radio, tv, graphic, etc.).

But another particularity of the young electorate is that This age segment tends to identify more with liberal movements and began to approach the right, unlike what was going on in the previous decades. That is why those seeking to loyalty these new followers (right) or recover lost adhesions (left) must resort to the new platforms that better and wider arrival have in the young. And the characteristics of Cambiemos and Advanced Freedom for the P.A.S.O; it makes them think they will seek an efficient and strategic vote.

More electorate means more votes; and therefore more chances of winning.

It remains to wait to see who hired the best Community Manager. .

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stefania bargardi

Stefanía Bargardi

Hi, I'm Stefanía, an international analyst dedicated to consulting and research. I have a degree in International Relations and Political Science from UCA and a postgraduate degree in International Business from UADE. I was granted a scholarship by the IDB and the US Embassy in Argentina for specializations on international trade and the US.
I also received a scholarship from the IDB for a postgraduate course in International Trade Law at the University of Geneva.
I invite you to get to know the world of international geopolitics through my articles.

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