College students in Tallahassee showed their support by participating in early voting and registering for the mid-term elections from Oct. 22 to Nov. 4.
Students from Florida A&M University, Florida State University and Tallahassee Community College generated a record-breaking turnout. Many students have spread the word of early voting through social media by taking pictures of their stickers and encouraging others to do the same.
Thomas James is the information technology director to the supervisor of elections, Mark Earley. He spoke on the record-breaking turnout for early voting among young voters
“Early voting was great! We had nine sites for the very first time. One site opened up at FSU’s civic center so the students could go in and vote, and so far, we have had record-breaking turnout numbers,” James said. “We have actually doubled the number of voters from the 2014 primaries.
James believed that overall Donald L. Tucker Civic Center had more than 5,000 early voters.
According to Leon County’s Supervisor of Elections, 6,101 early voters turned out to vote at the civic center.
Jessica Hudson, a sophomore political science major, expressed the importance of political involvement by young voters.
“It makes us feel worthy when it is someone like Andrew Gillum or Barak Obama running for something,” Hudson said. “Voting is how we get our voices to be heard, how we get our issues to be resolved. It is a step closer to getting everything back that was taken away from us.”
Kamua-Sahu Louis, a freshman political science major, noted how today’s votes will affect the future.
“Young people usually do not show up to vote, but it is different in 2018,” Louis said. “As we see with Donald Trump in 2016, voter turnout increased for youth voters between the ages of 18 to 29 has increased by 300 percent.”
The change does not cease there. Throughout the early voting process, multiple non-partisan organizations went to FAMU, TCC and FSU’s campus to inform students their votes matter.
Ms. Florida American Nationalist 2018 Ashley Lacey talked about her organization and the crucial role the youth play in early voting. Lacey’s seat campus engagement project visited FAMU’s campus to encourage more students to vote.
“You have the power to vote and these people affect your daily life and your family’s lives,” Lacey said. “Based on my social media, I woke up and I was feeling so good because people from all different types of backgrounds have been promoting, voting and saying they registered.”
Andrew Klutey, an organizer for Public Interest Research Group discussed his organizations role in voter turnout as well. He said his organization registered 4,500 students among FSU, FAMU and TCC.
“I think that people just want to believe in their ability to change things,” Klutey said. “I have high hopes for the future and what we can achieve as a generation.”