Your Voice, Your Vote: Tallahassee students push their peers to vote in 2020 presidential primary

Posted at 6:23 PM, Mar 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-16 18:23:27-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Students at FAMU, FSU and TCC are pushing their peers to vote, and they say it's for good reason.

"A lot of the issues we're worrying about on campus is not how we look, not our hair, nails, our shoes," says Marie Rattigan, a student at Florida A&M. "It's things that our ancestors were fighting for."

Tallahassee Community College's Dean of Social Sciences Dr. Richard Murgo says the young voters demonstrate the changing of our demographics.

"Our younger voters are less white, more urban, more Hispanic," said Murgo. "They're going to represent what this country is going to look like in 10, 15, 20 years, not only in terms of mentality and ideology, but in terms of who they are."

According to Leon County Elections Data, voters ages 18 to 25 make up 20 percent of the current voters in Leon County. However, only 14 percent of all votes were cast by those young voters during the 2016 Presidential Preference Primary.

"You have a large mass of people who are just politically weary, they're politically tired, and they're not displaying that much interest," Murgo said. "And we're seeing that a lot more with our young people."

One change this year to encourage the college vote? Allowing early voting on college campuses.

"So I think the fact that we have the availability to early vote through campus is one of the most important ways to get the youth vote," said Jordan Singer, Florida State University student.

Others, knowing the impact voting will have on the issues Generation Z cares about most.

"Healthcare, LGBTQ rights, the environment, reproductive rights," said FSU students Nicolas Franzini and Carolina Garcia. "There's a lot of big issues being debated in our country that's a really consequential moment. Immigration. Protecting trans youth, economic inequality, wage gap."

And this will be the first time many in this age group will have a say in a presidential election.

"Right now I'm just doing my research," said Carrington Whigham, elections chair, FAMU Student Senate. "Staying above the game, keeping up to date. So I'm very excited to vote."