‘I mean, why not’: Young Georgia voter encourages peers

Anthony Veasley
Anthony Veasley(WRDW)
Published: Oct. 21, 2022 at 11:27 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Early voting continues in Georgia, and we are seeing record-breaking turnout in Richmond County.

The 2018 elections shattered records, so that trend is continuing.

The board of elections voted Friday to open two additional voting locations for early voting. Starting Wednesday, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., the Henry Brigham Community center and the Robert Howard Community Center are open for early voting.

We’re seeing registration among young voters increase by six percent, according to researchers at Tufts University.

We spoke with an Augusta University student who hosted a voter registration on campus, and one of Georgia’s top election officials who says voters ages 18 to 29 are the single largest group of registered voters in the state.

Typically, only five percent in that age range show up to the ballot box. Students in the Augusta area are working to change that.

Early birds are hitting the ballot boxes, and the numbers speak for themselves.

“Record turnout. We are just blowing doors really,” said Interim Deputy Secretary of State Gabriel Sterling.

Exceeding the expectations of Georgia’s top election officials.

“It’s a midterm election and generally speaking, you see a lot fewer votes in the midterms than you do in the presidential election, and seeing this kind of shows that people in Georgia are really engaged in the outcomes of this upcoming really important election,” he said.

Voters 65 and over contribute to 50.1 percent of the record turnout. Despite voters ages 18 to 29 accounting for the single largest group of registered voters in the state.

“That said, they aren’t really showing up in droves. It’s really running around five percent right now,” said Gabriel.

A number second time voter Anthony Veasley wants to increase.

“I mean, why not,” he asked.

That’s the question on this AU senior’s mind, leading him to host various voter engagement events.

“I feel like we have a tendency to refrain because we feel like there’s no importance. It’s probably one of the most important things you probably do in your life,” he said.

That’s the message he wants every voter to hear.

“We are the new generation we hold. We got to hold everything accountable. It’s all on us. You know, our parents, our grandparents, they had their time. It’s all on us. If we want to see change, we got to make a change, and it falls within our hands,” said Veasley.

It’s not one area driving this turnout; it’s all across the state.

Richmond County has already seen more than 5,000 people show up to cast their vote. This is also the first year Georgians are voting under a new voting law, which requires counties to have at least two Saturdays of early voting.

The first Saturday of early voting in Richmond County starts Oct. 22 at 9 a.m.