Will more students vote on Nov. 8?

Florida governor candidates Charlie Crist and Ron DeSantis. Photo courtesy: Florida Politics

It is almost that time of the year where voters all around the country cast ballots in the general election.

According to the Florida Department of State, voter turnout for the 2020 general election was approximately 77%. This included a 6% rise in college students filling in their ballots.

This year has been the stage for controversial laws being passed such as the “Don’t Say Gay” and “Stop Woke Act” in Florida, and the state’s 15-week abortion ban, all passed by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis.

These new laws have stirred up conversations on college campuses.

With some college students speaking out against these laws, the turnout for voters between the ages of 18-24 could possibly turn things around.

In Florida, voters will have the chance to cast their ballots on Nov. 8. Organizations such as Black Voters Matter have been helping college students across Florida A&M University’s campus register to vote.

Black Voters Matter advocate Shania Washington, a third-year African American studies student from Jacksonville, believes that college students need to get involved and take matters into their own hands before it’s too late.

“We are the future politicians, doctors, lawyers, and so on in this country and in this world,” Washington said. “We’ve been leaving this country in the hands of older people who were around during a completely different society with different social cues. It’s time to evolve and that’s why the importance of voting is crucial.”

According to a poll conducted by the Insider Advantage, Gov. DeSantis enjoys a five-percentage point lead ahead of his Democratic challenger Charlie Crist.

Crist, who recently resigned from his seat in Congress to focus on the campaign, is targeting his message on LGBTQ+ rights, restoration of felon voter rights, and pro-choice abortion laws.

The rights of the LGBTQ+ community has been in the spotlight for years and the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law has pushed the pressure on the students whose lives are impacted by this law to reach out to the community on the importance of voting.

Alexis Frost, a fourth-year business administration student from Tallahassee, says this is the year to speak up where it counts.

“It’s 2022 and we’re still protesting our sexualities and fighting against discrimination,” Frost said. “This is our chance to speak up once again and vote for the people who see us.”

The voter registration deadline to vote in the Nov. 8 Florida general election is Oct. 11. Students can register to vote online at https://registertovoteflorida.gov/home