Younger generations throughout time have always been notorious for not exercising their right to vote. This is common knowledge that has been true for decades.
However, Gen Z, which consists of those born between 1997 and 2012, has been breaking early voting records in numbers many did not anticipate. While many members of Gen Z, also known as zoomers, are still too young to vote, those 18-23 years old are showing up in droves to vote. This is consistent with data that shows members of Gen Z voted at higher rates in their first midterm election (2018) than generations past.
While early voting turnout is up across all ages due to COVID-19, younger voters are early voting in historically high numbers. In key battleground states like Texas, Florida, and Arizona early voter turn-out is especially up.
Gen Z is not the only generation breaking records, Millennials in their 30s are also breaking early voting turnout records. Tom Bonier, CEO of TargetSmart, says that 64 percent of voters under 30 who have already voted in this election did not vote in 2016.
While Zoomers are incredibly diverse and hold an array of political beliefs, many pollsters project that younger generations will vote for Biden this election. Polling suggests that younger generations, Millennials and Zoomers, are majority liberal in their thinking and are projected to support Biden. While there are still thousands of young Trump supporters, polling suggests the majority of young populations vote blue.
Zoomers have proven to be somewhat vocal advocates surrounding many issues, particularly climate change. Climate scientists project that we only have a little over a decade to solve the climate crisis, and younger generations, particularly Gen Z, will be left to deal with the aftermath if we do not begin the fight to combat climate change now. This is perhaps one of the main causes pushing young voters to be politically active.
Voting is not over yet, Election day is less than a week away and millions of Americans have yet to cast their ballot, so we still do not know the impact Gen Z has had on the election, but as we have shown this year and in 2018, we are a portion of the electorate that should be advocated for and acknowledged. The issues we care about should be taken seriously, and at the rate we are going, we will be an overwhelming voice within the electorate in the years to come.