Every election is determined by the voters that show up, and in the most recent election, a large wave of young people did just that.
Based on information collected by the Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, as of November 9, 2016 approximately 43% of all eligible young voters cast a ballot. Four years later, that has risen to approximately 51% and is expected to rise as final votes are counted.
This surge by young voters was key in the outcome of the election, especially in swing states. With all that has happened in 2020, young people seem to be getting more involved and they’re making sure their voices are heard.
Senior and first time voter Austin Rood recounts his voting experience saying, “It was a little stressful and confusing because I didn’t know exactly what I was doing and where I was supposed to go, but it was nice knowing that I was doing something good for our country.”
For future first time voters who want their voices to be heard, Austin suggests voting early to avoid long lines. Researching the state propositions will also make the experience much smoother.
After handing in the ballot, first time voters are celebrated.
“Something fun they did was yell out that I was a first time voter,” Rood recounts. “ It was a little awkward and embarrassing, but it was also exciting and empowering to know that I was contributing and being part of our government.”
After all, democracy is a privilege that Americans will continue to protect with their vote. For young people voting is an opportunity to shape the future, bringing society into better and brighter eras.