Generation Z Voters Preparing to Vote in Presidential Election for First Time

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We're just two weeks away from the next presidential election and there's a group of voters that are excited to be able to have their opinions heard for the very first time -- Generation Z.

Some of these voters just turned 18 or 19 years old. They grew up in the age of school shootings and the #MeToo movement. There's been growing racial unrest and more attention put on climate change.

Generation Z said other priorities for them include women's rights, LGBTQ rights, healthcare, student loan debt, climate change, and of course, the COVID-19 pandemic.

So we decided to stop and listen to what's driving them to vote and choose their next president.

“I’m from Danbury, I was in middle school was Sandy Hook happened. We were in lockdown until 5 p.m. in the afternoon so obviously gun control is something that I do hold dear to my heart and it’s something I do think needs to be changed,” said Alex Yaldeh, of Danbury.

“Some big important issues would be LGBT rights, abortion," said Alex Zupan, of Haddam.

“Social justice issues,” said Destiny Johnson, of Windsor.

“Healthcare, leadership and overall transparency,” said Augustus (Reggie) Pope, of Newington.

“Gun rights, a part of our constitution I believe it would be safer with them," said Tim Helchowski, of Essex.

"Just how the whole COVID thing is being dealt with," said Chloe Martins, of Seymour.

Here in Connecticut, 163,000 18-22 year olds have registered to vote. That's just over 7 percent of the total electorate in our state.

The majority are not registered Democrat or Republican. In speaking with them, some still haven't made up their minds on who they will be voting for.

Across the country, the Pew Research Center said Generation Z makes up one in 10 eligible voters this fall. They are the most diverse group of voters and they have the potential to have an effect on the election if and only if they show up to vote.

“They represent 37 percent, 40 percent of eligible voters this year, that’s larger than baby boomers, baby boomer parents. So if they show up in force they will dominate this election," said University of New Haven Associate Professor Matthew J. Schmidt.

But that's the thing, they have to show up to vote and there's no way to predict how many will.

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