The Power of the Youth Vote in the 2020 Presidential Election

I can speak for myself and many other millennials and Gen-Z that the past presidential elections have been historical and monumental.

It started with the 2008 presidential election, where the first black president, Barack Obama, was elected. However, after his two wonderful terms, another monumental presidential race came to surface. The candidates were first woman presidential elect, Hillary Clinton, and Donald Trump. Donald Trump represented a hard conservative who wasn’t respectful to minorities or women. When the time came to vote, Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential election, and America is still recovering from the affects of this race.

For many young voters, their first time voting has been a time where there were increased pressure. Imagine the victory of having a black president, then being faced with the possibility of having a female president, and then being stuck with a conservative and racist president. This is why it’s important now more than ever for the youth to vote and be the change we want to see in the country.

Voter Turnout

Voter turnout amongst young voters have been historically low, but it’s evident that people are fired up more than ever to play their parts in the 2020 presidential race. I believe the Covid-19 pandemic and the increase of voter information on social media will be the cause of a higher voter turn out amongst the youth. The Black Lives Matter movement has been instrumental in conveying the importance of voting and letting the minority voice be heard.

Early voting amongst people aged 18-29 has increased across the 14 critical voting states, according to data from Catalist. In Florida, the youth vote has nearly doubled from the last presidential election. Even within a CNN election poll, it showed that 51% of registered voters aged 18-34 are extremely excited to vote in 2020. In 2016, that number was only 30%.

Higher Stakes

I believe youth voters are more motivated with the issues and less with the candidates themselves. Many youth have racial equality along with defeating Donald Trump as their top voting motives. With the increased race-motivated police brutality cases, it’s important to the youth more than ever to fix racial injustice in America. Donald Trump continuously undermines and doesn’t identify race as a problem in America.While Joe Biden may have his fair share of ignorance on racial injustice, he at least acknowledges it as an issue and is willing to take the steps to be an ally.

Meeting Youth Voters in the Middle

The best way to get the youth to vote has been social media. Joe Biden’s team has been successful in joining Versuz battles, connecting with entertainers/celebrities, and even using the gaming industry for marketing materials. There are also register to vote widgets on all social media platforms.

In the age of the new digital world, 2020 could be the year of the youth vote.

Progressives Express Mixed Feelings After Joe Biden picks Kamala Harris for VP

Last Tuesday, Joe Biden selected Senator Kamala Harris as his VP pick. Biden announced the selection via text-message and an e-mail sent to his supporters. Once the news was shared via social media, it left some progressives with conflicting opinions.

Ms. Harris is the first black woman and the first person of Indian descent to be nominated for national office. Many Democrats and especially African-Americans see it as a celebratory history-making moment. While many Black Americans are thankful for the representation of color and gender, some question Ms. Harris’ motives.

In her presidential campaign, she definitely rubbed many African-Americans the wrong way. Her past far right stances on criminal justice issues as a prosecutor and attorney general, makes some people feel very uneasy. Some of her stances included, opposing the legalization of marijuana, and opposing a statewide police body camera mandate.

It seems that once again the theme of the upcoming presidential primary election is choosing the lesser of two evils. Many Democrats have more resentment for President Trump/ Mike Pence than they have for Joe Biden/ Kamala Harris, so many Democrats are put in a box.

However, this doesn’t excuse Kamala Harris from critique of the Democratic party. I believe she has to do a lot of media attention and convincing that she has learned from her past right-wing prosecutions. She has to get more progressives to believe in her, to ensure their comfortability in voting this Fall.

While Democrats are faced with conflicting views on Biden’s pick, In the grand scheme of things to have a black woman as a VP elect is “her-story” in the making.