After the 2016 presidential election between Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton, it was presumed that for this next election in 2020 young citizens would be less likely to exercise their right to vote. 

After conducting a social media poll, The Atlanta Voice concluded that this just isn’t the case.

Around 97 percent of young people are in fact voting in this election and know who they’re voting for compared to the 3 percent of young people who are not voting at all.

In actuality, young people are not only registered to vote but also know the reasons behind their decision.

“Yes, I am voting for the Joe Biden and Kamala Harris ticket,” said Jordan Live, a local media personality. “I am voting for them because I feel like they are the best choice and the best option to take the country in the direction it desperately needs to be.

“I strongly believe they will uphold the democracy of this country yet if Trump were to be elected again that democracy that we cherish so much will be in jeopardy, if not, forgotten,” she added.

Live is no stranger to politics and actually served for the gubernatorial election on Stacey Abrams’ campaign.

“It’s a lot to give anybody full confidence but I believe the candidates I am casting my vote for at the ballot box will definitely be able to stand on principle, American value, and put truth to power,” Live said. “Their track records hold true to that. As a public servant in a public office, your word is very important. The president is the person in charge of major duties like the military and you should be able to trust your commander in chief.”

With the country full of turmoil and racial tension, especially amidst a year of ongoing senseless killings of Black people such as Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and Ahmaud Arbery, casting your vote in this election is more essential than ever.

Young people have protested and fought all over the country throughout the entire year to help bring justice and attention to a blatant issue that is still so prevalent in this country.

However, the biggest and toughest fight has yet to come. The needle may be moving slowly in the right direction towards helping to relieve racial injustice, yet the fight is far from over.

And in order to take larger steps in that direction, there needs to be people put into positions to help catapult this progression in the United States.

Young voters like Keijhon Francis, who is a development and communications assistant in Augusta, Georgia, have either followed or not followed this presidential election based on two variables, their personal interest in politics and their feeling of having a duty to fulfill due to social issues.  “My ability to vote is due to the sacrifices our ancestors and past leaders made to be able to give me the opportunity to vote, but a piece of me is interested in who is making the decisions up top for me and my children,” Francis said. “It wasn’t really a big deal for me to vote before the Donald Trump presidency. I used to think okay, it’s time to vote so I’ll go and vote. But now that I’ve seen the Trump presidency, I want to make sure I fully understand and display the importance of voting.”

“I have been keeping up with the cast of the 2020 election since people started announcing their bid for candidacy. I knew I wanted to pay close attention early on because I knew for a fact, whoever it was I voted for, I wanted to feel secure in that vote.”

There are numerous reasons why young people could feel discouraged or unconfident in voting and the political climate doesn’t make it any easier.

“Let’s reflect on the last election with Trump and Clinton. She won the popular vote but not the electoral vote. If the people voted for her then there should have been no doubt that she should have been the president of the United States,” Live said. “Young people start to lose hope and doubt the system. Everyone tells me that my vote is important and it counts yet in this particular election I cast my ballot and the person that seemingly should have won didn’t and in the end, the dignitaries and the electoral college vote superseded the peoples’ vote.”

Live continued, “Voter suppression is real and we saw how real it was with Stacey Abrams and Andrew Gillum. Those races were tremendously close, however, you had people shutting down voting locations prior to elections. I remember in all, there were locations in Atlanta, Georgia where African American people lived that didn’t even have proper voting equipment. They would have something like outlets with no machines or machines with no outlets.”

It’s safe to say this election has been filled with jaw-dropping antics and has revealed some polarizing past decisions from either candidate and their running mates.

“Politics has been messy as of lately, I think the kind of comedy show it has become has made the candidates appear untrustworthy. The depiction in the media for this presidency and things involving the government has become a meme or the next best thing to laugh about. They’re not taking it as seriously as they used to. People used to look at holding office with respect and I feel like they don’t think the same way anymore,” Francis said.

People participate in a Black Lives Matter rally on Mount Washington in Pittsburgh on Sunday, June 7, during a protest over the death of George Floyd, who died May 25 after being restrained by police in Minneapolis. (Photo: Gene J. Puskar / AP Photo)

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