By Theresa Morrissey, Staff Writer
The results of the 2020 election will shape the future of America for years to come. With a global pandemic, a potential Supreme Court nomination and healthcare hanging in the balance, a lot is at stake. A key demographic in the 2020 election for both parties is Generation Z. Gen Z is composed of people born from 1997 onwards. Gen Z voters from 1997- 2002 will be eligible to vote in the 2020 election.
Individuals from this generation of voters are already sharing their voices through various movements and platforms such as the “Blackout Tuesday” movement on Instagram. They are one of the first generations to use social media platforms to advocate for certain issues. According to Pew Research Center, Gen Z is also on track to be the most educated generation yet. Nearly 24 million of these voters will be able to vote in the 2020 general election, but nobody knows how many actually will.
The 2020 election has proven to be an election unlike any other. The coronavirus pandemic has impacted everyone’s daily life, and social justice initiatives have made everyone more aware of injustices around them. The stakes of this election have caused some Gen Z voters to change who they plan to vote for.
“This time last year I thought I was 100 perecent sure of who I would vote for, now my vote is different,” sophomore Marketing major Rachel Jenkins said. “I switched my vote because this election is too big to vote for someone who might not have a chance to win.”
While some Gen Z voters changed their mind on who they will vote for, others easily made the choice.
“I cast my ballot through mail a few days ago,” undeclared sophomore Madi Margroff said. “I never questioned who I would vote for or how I would vote during the pandemic.”
While Gen Z looks to use their voice through voting, it’s clear that this election will be critical to shaping the political landscape for years to come. New York early voting begins on Saturday, Oct. 24, and ends on Nov. 1. Registered voters can vote on Election Day from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mail-in voters can begin mailing their ballots now or dropping them in a NY state dropbox. Mail-in ballots must be postmarked no later than Nov. 3 and received by Nov. 10.