Friday, June 2Welcome

Young Floridians are interested in politics

Florida’s young voters could have a big impact on the gubernatorial and senate races in this election. The 2018 and his 2020 elections saw record turnout from young voters as major Florida issues loomed, including the restoration of voter rights and a historic presidential election.

Since the last election, Gov. Ron DeSantis has voted for things like House Bill 7, which would ban the teaching of critical racial theories in public schools, and a 15-week abortion ban earlier this year before Roe v. Wade was overturned. , signed several controversial bills.

For Ariana Range, she knows voting in the upcoming election could help reverse some of the policies put in place under the DeSantis administration that she disagrees with.

“I know there’s been a lot of discussion about the educational system and important race theories,” Range said. “I absolutely disagree with what the state is doing, and I would like to see similar legislation reverse what they did with CRT and remove it from the education system. ”

Range is a provisional student senator at the University of West Florida. The 19-year-old believes the younger generation can learn about organizing from the older generation, but lest the older generation exclude her Gen Z or assume they aren’t interested in politics. I want to

“People have this perspective that Gen Z does not attempt. But look from the gun reform movement after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting to the Black Lives Matter movement after George Floyd Gen Z is definitely involved in politics, and I think we just do it differently than older generations since we use social media.”

Despite increased youth civic participation in Florida in 2020, the 18- to 24-year-old demographic still had the lowest voter turnout.

young voters

Ariana Range, Stephen Wiktorski, Tory Sanders.

This may be partly due to indifference to voting, but it may also be due to a general lack of knowledge about where and how to vote. So Stephen Wiktorski, chairman of his SGA’s Student Affairs Committee at UWF, wants to help his peers point the right ballot direction.

“I have learned that there are many misunderstandings between friends and people who go to UWF, Pensacola State University, and other schools,” said Wiktorsi. “Many people are unaware of how voting works like early voting, as opposed to regular voting on Election Day or requests for absentee ballots. I don’t understand how it works, so I think what I’d like to see is more initiatives by the city to make voters aware.”

The voter turmoil is not just limited to Pensacola, but statewide, with the DeSantis administration trying to crack down on what it sees as voter fraud. In 2018, a historic ballot initiative was passed with more than 60% of his vote, restoring voting rights to non-violent ex-felons. Soon after, DeSantis signed a law requiring former felons to pay all fines and fees before their rights are restored. Footage obtained by the Tampa Bay Times and Miami Herald last month shows law enforcement arresting one of 19 deranged ex-felons arrested for voting in the 2020 election. After the election, DeSantis was proud that Florida had one of the smoothest and most successful processes in the country. But shortly after, he signed bill SB 90, which requires voters to provide more information to update their registrations, restricts the vote-by-mail process, and limits the locations of voter drop-boxes. .

“There’s definitely some confusion about how your opinions actually translate into votes,” said Wiktorsi. “Often young voters are not used to it and may just think, ‘My voice doesn’t matter.'”

But Tory Sanders, a recent political science graduate from the University of South Alabama, wants everyone to know their voice and vote. conduct matter.

“I just wanted to make sure people were always participating and having their voices heard and voting for what they wanted to see,” Sanders said. there is.”


Tory Sanders and his fraternity.

As a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated, Sanders conducts voter registration drives and other events to inform the community and spread awareness about the importance of voting. During his college years, he used speech contests as an opportunity to encourage millennials and his Gen Z to be more involved in the electoral process.

Today, he is a staunch advocate for abortion rights, opposes anti-CRT efforts at the state level, and advocates for diversity in leadership positions in Pensacola.

“My personal experience as a young professional in Pensacola has made me believe that we need to do more across the city towards diversity, equity and inclusion. It’s diverse and everyone has a say in it.”

Whether it’s diversity, education or healthcare issues, young people want to know that millennials and Gen Z care about the political climate of their country.through voting When In other forms of civic engagement, they are making their voices heard.

Early voting is now open in 10 locations in Escambia County through November 5, 6 in Santa Rosa County, and 5 in Okaloosa County. Voters can click here to view a sample ballot before going to vote.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *