Young voter turnout in Georgia at second best in three decades, center says; VSU program encourages voting
VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) - Young voters had a huge role in the mid-term elections and they could be just as important in the Senate runoff.
Georgia saw the second-highest young voter turnout in the last three decades— 4% less than the highest turnout in 2018. That’s according to a Civic Learning Research Center.
Student diversity and inclusion started Valdosta State University’s (VSU) first-ever Civic Engagement Initiative event called Blaze the Ballot. The program was started in 2019 was started to educate students about the voting process.
“So Blaze the Ballot is more so on the educational side of things. So we give students the information so that way every Blazer here at Valdosta State has an opportunity to be informed when they go to the ballot booth,” VSU Student Body President Jalen Smith said.
Experts say young voters are paying attention to issues, and want to have a say in them.
“I think that the people of our age showed up for voting this year because we really want to see real change. A thing that I was just talking about with my friends is, college-age students are very educated on voter suppression, and just voting in general. So I think they really showed out in the polls because they’re educated on the topic,” Student Body Vice President Makaya Clinton said.
Research shows, about 27% of voters between the ages of 18-29 cast a ballot in the 2022 midterm elections. Some students say VSU’s initiative did educate them beyond their family values.
“She always instilled in me the power of the vote and the sacredness of the vote. We’re seeing this huge voter turnout amongst youth and I think that it’s really important because at the end of the day, although our parents have raised us and they’re living their lives, this will soon be our world and our future and so we cast ballots now that will affect us years and years to come,” Smith said.
Young voters played a significant role in battleground state elections across the country. Some are wondering if they will do the same for this upcoming runoff election.
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