NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - This year voter turnout has surpassed the 2016 presidential election and with only election day itself left, reports have also shown the increase in voters 18-29 years old.
Despite being in the middle of a pandemic, youth voter turnout is hitting record high numbers. According to statistics from CIRCLE research center at Tufts University, as of today nearly 10 million young people, ages 18-29, have voted early or absentee in the 2020 election. First time voter David Naber shares his reaction.
“I didn’t expect it to be so quickly and so numerous," he said. "Especially mid-pandemic and how the times are right now, just to see that it’s our age group that’s leading the numbers.”
Naber voted in Rusk County and said its was like a redo for him because he did not vote in the 2016 presidential election.
“That was a really pivotal year, and seeing 2020 kind of carry on that same energy and that same momentum, I thought it was really important that I had to make time to get out and vote this year,” Naber said.
Braeden Dunn, a first time voter and student at SFA, went back to his hometown of Rockwall, east of Dallas, to vote. He said he felt accomplished when he finished.
“I think if you have issues that you want solved, or issues that you want to stay the same, it’s important that you go out and do your civic duty and give your attempt, I guess, as to how you expect the change to be made, or how you expect things to stay the same,” Dunn said. “If you want things to say the same, or you want things to change, and you don’t do your part, then it’s kind of hard to say that you want them to go that way.”
Dunn said even with COVID-19 protocols his experience went smoothly and his message to those still waiting to vote is, “Get out and vote, stay safe. At the end of the day we’re all Americans, so whether we have differing political views, just make sure everyone respects each other and let’s all be Americans and get through this together.”
Due to election day, tomorrow all SFA athletic team activities are cancelled to give students time to vote without worrying about fitting it around class and practice schedules.