The youth vote is expected to play a big role in the upcoming Nov. 3 election. CNN reported that 51% of voters age 18 to 34 said they were excited to vote in 2020 as opposed to 30% in 2016.
According to some college students in Billings, voting is important, and people should vote regardless of the demographic.
Jarren Keller, a political science major, said recently that he thinks one of the most important things people should do is vote, especially when they feel their voice is not being heard.
“When the minority votes, it speaks to the community at large. So if 10% of the people in Billings, Montana, voted for the Green Party, there would be an obligation from those who are elected to hear those people out,” said Keller.
Willow Peterson, also a political science major, said she thinks that we have a great privilege to take part in our election process.
“A lot of eyes are on the younger generation this year because the amount of turnout that our younger generation has could have a huge impact on the election results,” said Peterson.
One issue that has been at the forefront of presidential debates and is a likely deciding factor for voters is the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Keller said that at the state level, he feels that the handling of the pandemic has been average and at the national level, very poorly.
“I’m concerned about our rural communities having access to healthcare. Places like Big Horn and Custer are far from the hospitals here, and such as the weather is now, that can make travel even harder. If somebody were to get coronavirus and start to code too far away from Billings, there is no chance for them,” said Keller.
Another issue that many young voters are concerned about is climate change. Peterson said that she feels climate change is a threat to the health of people and the world. She says that the problem is not being faced.
“I think a great option would be to look towards transitioning to renewable energy, and this would create jobs and also prevent an environmental crisis,” said Peterson.
Keller said that he feels the government has not taken climate change seriously.