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Killeen: Young voters overwhelmed and excited about 2020 election

Published: Oct. 14, 2020 at 10:27 PM CDT
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KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) - Young and first time voters say they’re excited and overwhelmed of voting in the 2020 presidential election.

19-year-old Hannah Baratang says in today’s age of social media can be difficult because it’s hard to flesh out what all the candidates stand for.

“As a young person, you spend a lot of time on social media platforms and twitter and you get all these opinions fed to you and it’s kind of like a little echo chamber,” she said.

“I think ultimately, you have to decide to think for yourself.”

Kirsten Martinez, 22, isn’t new to the ballot box. She voted in 2016 and says both in that election and this year, she still noticed a number of young adults unsure if they wanted to vote at all because of the sheer amount of information out there, true or not.

“Voting starts small,” she said.

“It’s like a snowball or domino effect. So, even voting for judges, congress representatives, all that matters. So, if you have problems and you feel as if your voice isn’t being heard, you have to take action and do something about it.”

That’s where Paul York, Associate Dean of Students with Texas A&M Central Texas, steps in.

"They are the largest block of voters, he said.

“They could absolutely sway the election.”

He says healthcare, climate change and social injustice are major issues most young voters are thinking about.

To help the students and other young voters, the school has started organizations that help search for credible sources about the local and national candidates so they have an easier time deciding who they want to vote for.

He says his main message is every vote matters.

“There are specific districts across the country where decisions are made by single digit votes and that tell you right there that one or two votes can change the outcome of an election,” he said.

York says there are no bad votes as long people do their research and find candidates that represent what they believe.

He adds the only time a person should be ashamed is if they don’t vote at all.

Copyright 2020 KWTX. All rights reserved.

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