As the nation grapples with looming societal issues like racial injustice, the public health crisis, climate change and a myriad of other matters, young voters made sure their calls for change were heard at the polls. According to Vox, there was a significant increase in youth voter turnout, especially amongst young voters of color.
Data from AP VoteCast and the National Election Poll showed President-elect Joe Biden received an outpour of support from Black voters between the ages of 18 to 29. In Georgia and North Carolina—two states that have historically been red—90 percent of Black youth voted for Biden. Youth votership in Georgia contributed to 21 percent of the state’s votes. The state of Michigan saw a significant increase in young voter turnout with 9.4 percent of early votes coming from youth. The New York Times reported that nationally 62 percent of youth voted for the Biden-Harris ticket.
“Personally, as an African American male, I’ve witnessed from my own community how important civic engagement and getting involved has been for the upcoming election,” Wayne State student Kamali Clora told the Detroit Free Press. “A lot of the social issues directly affect people of color and it is something that has challenged a lot of people to get involved. We need seats at the table.” Ciarra Malone, who serves as Georgia’s State Coordinator for the Campus Vote Project, says the youth vote is what ultimately flipped Georgia into a blue state. “Georgia is only a battleground state right now because of the youth vote and how many young people in the Atlanta area have turned out to vote,” she told TIME. “Organizers, especially young organizers, have been working especially hard.”
The increase in youth voter engagement is indicative of the fact that the future belongs to the leaders of tomorrow.