Gen Z and voter turnout stereotypes

Editorial Board

As the 2022 midterm elections wrap up around the nation, one factor was immensely contradictory to the predictions and polls of major news networks — Gen Z voters turned out in massive numbers, keeping the momentum they had during the 2020 election. 

Younger generations have historically had low voter turnout. In comparison, older generations have long been credited as the most active voting population and one that has immense influence over the outcomes of elections. However, these past two elections have been an anomaly. Democrats across the nation have praised Gen Z for staving off the Republican “red wave,” with President Joe Biden saying, “I especially want to thank the young people of this nation, who — I am told, I haven’t seen the numbers — voted in historic numbers again and just as they did two years ago,” according to an article by Al Jazeera. Young voters were motivated to come out en masse to support the protection of their freedoms, the fight against the growing epidemic of gun violence, the implementation of student debt relief programs and to further address the climate crisis that plagues our planet. This voter mobilization also contributed to the election of Maxwell Frost, the first Gen Z member of Congress to represent Florida’s 10th Congressional District. 

However, while Gen Z did show up to the polls in record numbers across the nation, there were some regions where voter participation was still noticeably lower, including Texas. According to an article from KXAN, Travis County saw early voting numbers lag behind the levels they reached during the 2018 midterms. The Houston Chronicle also reported that Houston-area universities saw decreased levels of early voter turnout, which was assumed to be a sign that they struggled to engage and mobilize younger voters.

While Gen Z voter turnout surpassed expectations during this election cycle, the younger generation of Texas must strive to continue this momentum. If you registered to vote in the 2022 midterms but did not cast a ballot by Nov. 8, please consider voting in 2024. American elections are most effective when input is considered from all demographics, including young people. In order to initiate the change we want to see, we must act by voting in our elections.

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