The Presidential Election is less than a month away, but many students are split as to how they should vote for this year. However, this election will be seeing many first-time voters who are students, many whom are from Generation Z. Younger generations have always been encouraged to vote, yet according to the New York Times, the voter turnout of people under the age of 30 in the U.S. have been low in previous election years, and Pew Research found that only 37% of Generation Z are eligible to vote this year.
With social media at our fingertips, people voice their political views more often and share stories on why their opposing candidates are not a good fit for office. Even when people watch the news, they’ll choose outlets like Fox News or CNN when both channels tend to lean to one political party over the other.
Media is powerful, but try not to cling to a specific side. Despite these media outlets that can divide people, students should become more educated on each of the political parties and what they have to offer, and vote based on the values you would like represented more in office.
What causes this split is how presidential candidates Donald Trump and Joe Biden respectively handle issues on race, social class and the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, according to pewsocialtrends.org, Generation Z will likely see an increase in policy changes when it comes to diversity and social issues.
Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg, director of the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, told National Public Radio (NPR.org) that most young voters are focused on issues that are being represented and less on which party they belong to.
The first presidential debate left many people split on who they should vote for.
A big factor that will affect voter turnout is the COVID-19 pandemic. Many students feel that voting in-person is a better option than through an absentee ballot, so safety precautions must take place when going to the voting booths.
A great way to become more educated on these topics is to take advantage of resources on campus.
The Office of Diversity and Inclusion is offering Blaze the Ballot this year “to encourage and promote voter culture and active engagement in civic responsibility within our campus community.” The purpose of the project is “to educate students on voter culture, provide resources to student voters, and bridge the gap between this generation and the ‘ballot’.”
In the end, it is up to you to educate yourself on these topics and make the decisions based on your own values and what you believe in. Don’t feel obligated to one side or the other.
You have a choice to how you use your voice.