California; Hayward — There seems to be a voting shift amongst Gen Z when it comes to using their voice to make change. While the presidential election is a year away, it seems like some people have already made up their minds about whether they will be at the polling stations.
There are also going to be millions of new voters entering the pool of eligible voters in the United States.
Sentiments of distrust and disappointment are emerging within some Gen Z. With President Joe Biden’s approach to various issues being lackluster in the eyes of those who optimistically voted for him, there is this feeling of having no good option for younger voters. Recent San Jose State University graduate Ramzi Shaban voted for Biden in 2020 and this time around, he does not plan to vote at all again.
“Last election, I voted and nothing has really gotten better,” the 21-year-old said, “I don’t even know who’s running right now. I don’t keep up with politics.”
With a more calculated and informed decision not to vote is Southern California resident, Yasmeen Abdallah. “I used to think that the lesser of two evils would be my choice because of how we were encouraged to vote, but I don’t think that anymore,” she said. “I can’t support either of the two parties that realistically have a chance. Whatever they do always comes down to money and greed.”
Current computer science student Frank Martinez isn’t entirely opposed to voting. “Based on what I learned, my vote for president doesn't even matter because of the electoral votes, which ultimately serve the lobbyists,” the 21-year-old said. “I’d rather put in my vote locally where it counts.”
There are more hopeful Gen Z out there who want to use their voice for progress. Nineteen-year-old business student Ricardo Diaz is looking forward to voting for the first time. “I think there’s still a lot of time to become informed as to which issues are worth voting for and who is the right candidate to tackle the issues,” the San Francisco resident said.
Gen Z voters as well as many others would like to see change in their communities. There is a unanimous desire for voices to be heard and problems to be solved.
To learn more about upcoming elections in your state, visit the US Vote Foundation for more information.
Noumaan Faiz, (he/him) is a journalist and entertainer from Hayward, CA who covers culture and entertainment.
Edited by Nykeya Woods