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Young voters could play larger role in 2020 election

Posted at 5:22 PM, Oct 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-26 20:45:34-04

As of Oct. 25, Texas led all states in early-voting numbers with more than 7.3 million early ballots cast.

One demographic that is trending to have a bigger impact in 2020 than it did in 2016 is the 18-29 age group.

According to TargetSmart, 11.5 percent of votes cast as of Oct. 26 are from the youngest age demographic, up from 9.2 percent in 2016, and 8.6 percent in 2012.

“They’re the ones who will inherit the earth, so to say,” said Texas Democratic Party Press Secretary Rafael Benavides.

Both the Texas Democratic Party, and Republican Party of Texas know every vote counts, and are hoping to get as many votes as possible from young voters.

“[We want to] make sure that our young people understand we want to pass on the greatness of Texas to their generation,” said Allen West, the Chairman of the Republican Party of Texas.

“We are heavily reaching out to younger voters -- they tend to be more Democratic as well,” Benavides said.

Some younger voters are coming out because they know their future is at stake.

“The things that are happening in our nation are crucial to our generations to come,” said San Patricio County voter Maggie Peden.

Nueces County voter Bianca Ortiz did not cast her ballot in 2016, but a change in her life inspired her to vote in 2020.

“Now I see how important it is," she said. "I mean now that I have a daughter, I just want a good life for myself, and then for her too.”

Social media is playing a role in the voting of younger generations, too. Ortiz said she noticed an increase in election-related content on social media during this election cycle.

“I see more people my age talking about how they’re voting and stuff, and I guess stuff that I didn’t pay attention to is getting brought up more,” she said.

Both Benavides and West also noted the importance of social media in the election.

“I think social media is huge, and I think that’s something where Republicans have played catch up, and they’ve taken that lesson learned, and they’re doing a lot better with it,” West said.

“I know like Tik Tok, and Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram -- they’re for pleasure -- but a lot of times people are talking about issues that are important to them, and how they can make a better United States, or a better Texas,” Benavides said.

Early voting continues through Oct. 30.