Young Voters Take to the Polls in Middletown

In Middletown, nearby students at Wesleyan University took the time to take part in voting for local elections Tuesday.

Many students told NBC Connecticut that they have never voted before yet alone in local elections within the state.

Giovanni Ortiz is a junior at Wesleyan University and was too young to vote in the 2016 election.

“To be honest, I wasn't going to vote,” said Ortiz. “After talking with my friends, I thought I needed to take advantage of my right to vote."

Tuesday marked the start of a new democratic process experience for Ortiz.

“I had no experience and even filling out the bubble was a little difficult because I had never done it before,” said Ortiz. “I believe going through the voting process will definitely prepare me for next year.”

In Middletown, all eyes are on the mayoral race between Republican candidate Sebastian Giuliano, Democratic candidate Ben Florshiem and write-in candidate Valeka Clarke.

Leah Pensler also attends Wesleyan University and happens to study politics and government. Pensler says that this is a great time for first-time voters to learn about elections and ask questions ahead of 2020.

“It’s really going to be like on the shoulders of young people to show up in November of 2020,” said Pensler. “I really appreciate the ability to exercise the right to vote and a lot of people have fought for the right to vote and died for the right to vote.

Pensler is encouraging other young people and all voters to make their voices count in both local and national elections.

“I believe and totally encourage that all young people come out to vote,” said Pensler. “I think it’s important and very crucial in democracy.”

College students have a few options when it comes to voting. They can register to vote in their college town, or they have the option to complete an absentee ballot for the election in their hometown.

Kate Sundberg is a senior at Wesleyan University who’s filled out absentee ballots for local elections back home. However, this year Sandberg wanted to take park in Middletown’s mayoral race.

“I think that a lot can happen from the local level and radiate outwards,” said Sandberg. “A lot of times people get wrapped up into national politics that they forget about federal and local elections.

Each of those Wesleyan students took part in same-day registration at Middletown’s City Hall.

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