Gen Z voters head to the polls for the first time

Updated: Nov. 3, 2020 at 11:30 AM EST
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) -While many people line up today to exercise their constitutional right in shaping our democracy, some voters will be doing so today for the very first time.

According to the Pew Research group, 1 in 10 voters this election cycle are part of Gen Z, which means those born after 1996. Many of those voters can be found on college campuses nationwide, including Georgia Southern’s Armstrong Campus.

Junya Montgomery says as soon as he became of age, he couldn’t wait to vote.

“As soon as I turned 17 1/2, the first thing I did was go online and register because my family has told me this too, voting and participating is going to make a difference regardless of if you think it will or not.”

The 19-year-old voted early, and felt a bit intimidated.

“When I got there, I was nervous, shaky, just because I would see these other voters and think these people look experienced.”

Ethan Baker, a 21-year-old GSU student, also cast his ballot early and had similar feelings.

“It’s daunting, first time being thrown into this scenario, but its good motivation to go vote for the first time.”

Baker says he voted for Joe Biden, and some of the biggest issues leading him to that decision included..

“College loans and college debts, lowering prices, COVID response, anything would be preferable for now, that influenced my decision the most.”

Montgomery also voted for Joe Biden, but for different reasons.

“I’m very comfortable saying I voted for Joe Biden this election.”

“I am really passionate about decency, human rights, all the proests going on, I participated, wanted to make sure as a person of color I could be comfortable in the next four years.”

When we spoke with 19-year-old Freddie Lynch, she was still undecided.

“Kinda nervous, I want to make the right choice, I know I just need to vote for someone I believe in, and someone who has the values i believe in," she said. Those values include Black Lives Matter, and supporting the LGBTQ+ community.

And even though she doesn’t yet know who she’s voting for, she knows how important it is for people her age to get out and vote.

“It shows we have a voice, we’re the future. We have to have a say in what goes on and how we vote now can effect our future.”

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