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Florida sees big young voter turnout during early voting in 2020

With less than a week until election day, the presidential candidates have their eyes set on the battleground state of Florida. Both President Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden will be in Tampa Thursday. They are both hoping they can sway the younger generation in their respective favor.

The youth voter turnout in Florida is already strong in 2020. Research shows the number of young voters at this point is more than four times the early vote in the state in 2016.

We spoke with a lot of younger voters Wednesday, and they told us this presidential election is extremely important to them. They say this election will help shape their futures, and they want to make sure their voices are heard and included.

Dasia Perryman is 18 years old, and she dropped off her ballot for the very first time for a general election. This election in particular really drew her out to the polls.

“I just try to make sure I do my own research and make sure that I’m getting the correct information,”” Perryman said.

Perryman told us she can’t take a back seat to the political process.

“Things aren’t going to get better unless we try to do something,” Perryman said.

But 20-year-old Elizabeth Recker says things are already better.

“I feel like he’s done a really good job for our government, and our economy is in like a really good shape,” Recker said.

According to Tufts University’s Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, Perryman is among more than 400,000 young Floridians, ages 18 to 29, who have already voted either in person or by mail-in ballot for this election. Nationwide, that number grows to 5 million youth voters.

The research organization attributes young voter turnout being so high to the young voters themselves: Talking to each other, getting involved and helping their friends and other young people register and get involved in the political process.

Peter Bergerson, an FGCU political science professor, told us, this time around, young voters are more engaged.

“They are voting on their future,” Bergerson said. “They see their future at stake.”

Bergerson is glad to see more people engaged in the political process.

“Looking at the future, you know, making sure that it goes the right way … because every vote counts,” said Keelan Green, who is 20 years old.

“I feel like I’m gonna be really proud tomorrow and actually do it and drop it off and wear my ‘I voted’ sticker,” Recker said. “I’m going to feel very American tomorrow.”

MORE: Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement – Early Voting by Youth

Reporter:Andryanna Sheppard
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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