Young Americans came out in droves to cast first-time votes—and it’s having quite the impact

More than a week before the election, data showed that at least 7 million voters between the ages of 18-29 already voted, compared to 1.9 million in the age group who voted in 2016. “With a week of early voting (when the data was collected) and Election Day still to come, in Texas, Florida, North Carolina, Georgia, Arizona, and Montana, young people have already cast at least half as many votes as they did total votes in the last presidential election,” Tufts University’s Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) reported.

First-time voters have increased significantly this year. According to NBC News Decision Desk and TargetSmart, more than 20% of early voters nationwide are people who didn’t, or couldn’t, vote in 2016. “While early vote turnout has shattered all records, the most meaningful statistic is the number of ballots cast by voters who didn’t turn out in 2016,” Tom Bonier, TargetSmart CEO, told NBC News. “These are the voters who will determine how the 2020 electorate differs from Trump’s winning coalition in 2016.” He added that these new voters are not only younger and more diverse, but more likely to vote Democratic— and he was right data compiled by CIRCLE found that in more than 30 states young people supported Biden in majority double-digit margins. 

xNEW – YOUTH VOTING STATE BY STATE: We’ve got data on how young people voted in 30+ states. In nearly every state, they supported Joe Biden, often by big double-digit margins. And in two states (GA and VA) youth made up more than 20% of all votes cast!— CIRCLE (@CivicYouth) November 4, 2020

The narrative that young people do not care is long over. Young people are turning out in high numbers and are expecting change. Don’t believe me? Head to Twitter and see for yourself. Young people are not only sharing why they voted but encouraging others to do so, too.  

Lucky for you, we gathered some posts below from both the #youthvote and #firsttimevoters hashtags. 

xYoung people are turning out to vote by the MILLIONS, and we haven’t even had Election Day yet. We’re seizing our power and making our voices heard. Thank you for staying in this fight with us. If you haven’t already, don’t miss this moment, VOTE before polls close tomorrow!— NextGen America 🗳✨ (@NextGenAmerica) November 3, 2020

Harris Khan

“As our nation has learned that every vote matters from our previous election, I exercised my right to vote to assure my voice is heard and for the betterment of this nation’s future,” Harris Khan, a Pakistani-American from New Jersey, told Daily Kos.

“As a first-generation American, I’ve been reminded of the sacrifices my parents faced to get to the U.S. throughout my life. Despite the imposter syndrome I’ve faced, I know that I have earned every opportunity that has come my way. Voting in this election was especially important to me because I am actively shaping the future of our country,” Ashley Ramcharan, an Indian-American from Upstate New York, told Daily Kos.

“This year, I was fortunate to intern for Congressman Paul Tonko (NY-20). This experience has given me an inside look into a campaign and allowed me to build connections. I’ve faced criticism from conservative family members, but I think that only fueled my determination,” she added.

Ashley Ramcharan

x”…to all people regardless of their birth, the right to live, to work, to be themselves, and to become whatever their visions can combine to make them. This is the promise of America!” ~The American Adventure 🇺🇲#FirstTimeVoter #VOTE— Gabe’s Imagination (@Disneyman2021) November 3, 2020

xMy cousin who is the daughter of immigrants is voting for her first time! She’s only 18 years old and is casting her vote keeping her parents, tíos, and cousins like me who can’t vote yet and I’m totally weeping 😭😭🥺#alientovotes cc:@AlientoAZ— Reyna Can’t Vote | VOTE 🗳 (@ReynaEMontoya) October 12, 2020

With the millions of young folks voting before and during the election, there are a lot more stories to share. Head to Twitter and see for yourself the overwhelming number of young Americans who are hoping for change and a better future.

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