Young Voters Could Have Big Impact on Election — If They Show Up

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Next month, “Generation Z” will have its first chance to make a significant impact on the Presidential election.

Amid a year of protests and a pandemic, many are eager to have their voices heard.

Gen-Z voters are between 18 and 23 years old.

And experts say they can have a huge impact at the ballot box, if they actually show up.

“We have the power to make dramatic change in the ways that we want to see fit,” says 19-year-old Righteous Keitt.

For him, voting is personal.

“I think it should be personal for everybody. Especially as a black man. There are people who fought for these rights… they were getting hosed down in the streets for a right that a lot of us, to this day, don’t use,” Keitt says.

The freshman at UNC Chapel Hill never had any doubt he wanted to cast a ballot, especially in a year full of protest and turmoil.

“This is the moment where you actually have to step in and step up,” he says.

23 million Gen-Z ‘ers are eligible to vote in this election, according to Pew Research.

But in the 2018 election, only 3 in 10 actually did.

“They think it’s flawed or their voice won’t be heard at all,” says 17-year-old Eden Pentes.

She hears the naysayers.

“The whole thing that one vote, like, doesn’t matter. They actually believe that,” Pentes says.

The CMS Senior turns 18 at the end of the month.

She’ll be voting for the first time, in part, because North Carolina is such a critically important state.

“We actually make up a big part, especially in this election, of the deciding vote, especially for the Presidency,” she says.

Emma-Katherine Bowers is another first time voter.

The 18-year-old freshman at UNC Chapel Hill says she’s voting because her choices affect others.

“Maybe you don’t feel like you necessarily feel like you are impacted by the outcome of of the election personally, but there absolutely are people who are, I mean, you almost certainly know them. And so vote for more than just yourself,” Bowers says.