A New Generation of Voices



FILE – This May 26, 2020 file photo shows an Official Democratic General Primary mail-in ballot and secrecy envelope, for the Pennsylvania primary in Pittsburgh. Democrats are launching a digital ad targeting Pennsylvanians voting by mail to explain how to correctly fill out and return the ballots, hoping to avert worried predictions that 100,000 votes or more could be invalidated because the ballots aren’t put in the proper envelope. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)

Susan Sekera, Staff Writer

Every four years American citizens across the country sit down to watch the presidential and vice presidential debates. These debates typically help voters to hear out each candidate and decide for themselves who best lines up with their views. This year, however, citizens were shocked and confused after the candidates left lots of unanswered questions and were talking over one another. The only thing people seem to remember from the vice presidential debate is the fly that landed on Mike Pence’s head.

This election is the first time many young Gen Z citizens will have the opportunity to vote. As stated in an article by Amanda Barroso, “there are more than 23 million eligible Gen Z voters this year, about 16 million more than could vote in the 2016” These citizens are attempting to navigate the difficult political scene as they attempt to find their own views. A shocking amount of young voters have registered compared to elections prior; however, these young adults express that they are tense about the election process this year. These trends within these young adults demonstrate that they feel pressured in their right because they want to do what is best for everyone.

One problem that young voters face is the disparaging attitude many seasoned voters have toward this new generation that has manifested into a hesitancy to vote. Older Americans tend to see these young adults as uninformed and reckless, yet according to NPR “Generation Z is the most diverse and digitally connected generation in the U.S.” The registered voters within a survey showed that 100 percent of them have a plan on how they will vote, proving they are not reckless with this right. With the easy availability of information and views through the internet and accessibility to electronics, it simply makes sense that Gen Z is politically informed.

This uprise in young voter participation has continued to manifest itself out of the ballot box and into everyday life. In a survey sent out to members of Gen Z, 66.7% said people have attempted to sway their votes to benefit their own party. These influences come from many sources. New 19-year-old Christina Warner stated “People will post about candidates on social media” when asked how people have attempted to convince her which candidate is best. Though these influences are everywhere, most young adults seem to be sticking with their beliefs and voting for the candidate of the party they chose. 

There are many reasons as to why so many young people would choose to use their voice in this election. The pressures on their choices is a highly contributing factor. Gen Z voter James Valentín, states “My voice, along with the voices of hundreds of millions, haven’t been heard under the current administration.” as the reason for why he will vote. Social media has never been more popular than with Gen Z, so when popular creators tell their audience to register to vote, the audience obeys. Forbes magazine wrote an article on popular creator David Dobrik who held one of the largest voter drives by hosting a Tesla giveaway for registered voters. By using a large platform and positive reinforcement, celebrities are able to push the trend of registration onto the new adults.

In order to continue the trend of young adults registering to vote and using their voice, society must continue to inform its young generations about problems the world face. With this information, voters can make their own decisions on what they value and will want to have their voices heard. A new generation of positive, compassionate, and informed voters may very well be a true turning point for the United States of America.