Historic turnout among young voters forecasts increased progressivism, youth engagement

November 18, 2020

HIT in the news

Tabitha Mueller

George Niumataevalu’s political engagement began in 2016, before he was even eligible to vote. Three years later, he registered to vote at the College of Southern Nevada (CSN) campus where he was a student at the time, and then the 19-year-old exercised that right for the first time on Election Day at his old high school in Southern Highlands.

Niumataevalu said his vote for Joe Biden and others were driven by candidates’ values and comparing them to what he feels is “needed in our society today.” For him, that’s environmental safety and equality for historically disadvantaged populations.

“LGBTQ rights, that’s a major need for me, personally,” he said. “And women’s rights, that’s being threatened right now.”

Ben Wessel, the executive director of the progressive advocacy group NextGen America, told reporters on Thursday that young people’s advocacy, voter mobilization on social media and youth organizer efforts helped spur the highest turnout of youth voters the country has ever seen — even surpassing the surge of young voters in 2008. 

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Black Youth Vote Join HIT and Gen Forward to discuss young Black voters in 2020.