Young voters making voices heard in Colorado

Posted at 6:30 PM, Nov 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-02 23:38:25-05

COLORADO SPRINGS — El Paso County and the nation are seeing a record-breaking turnout of young voters heading to the polls. They're making their voices heard, with more than 188,000 ballots casted by Colorado voters between the ages of 18 and 24 years old as of Monday afternoon.

News5 spoke to several young voters in the Colorado Springs community to see what's motivating them to vote. We found out there are a number of reasons.

Young voter turnout in Colorado is typically higher than most states, partly because of the laws. Colorado is one of 14 states where 16-year-old's can register to vote, for example, when they get their driver's license. 17-year-old's in the state can also vote in the Primary election. Plus, if you're 18 on or before Election Day, you can vote in Colorado, and you can also register to vote on Election Day.

PJ Platt, an 18-year-old High School senior, is voting for the first time in the 2020 Presidential Election, News5 asked him why.

"Voting is the most important thing you can do for your country, said Platt. "It impacts how our country's run and I really want to get out there and make my voice heard."

Young voters like him also registered to vote after learning about important issues on the ballot.

"A lot of young voters want to make sure they have an impact on America," said Platt. "Some are happy with how things are going, and some are unhappy, but they want to make sure people know how they feel about the issues of today."

News5 also spoke to AJ Bailey, a UCCS student, who isn't voting for the first time, but is voting in his first presidential election. We asked the 20-year-old what's motivating him to get to the polls.

"I believe I've been motivated mostly because of what's going on in the country," said Bailey. "This is one of the most important elections of our lifetime."

He says he's also encouraged many other voters his age, and on campus, through the use of technology and social media.

"I have contacted them by message, by SnapChat, even Twitter, reaching out to all of them and asking them if they've voted or not and help encourage them through that," said Bailey.

Meanwhile Ray Reyes III, a grad student at UCCS and member of a political group on campus, tells other students that voting is one way to make change in our community.

"Where it actually makes a difference is at the state and local level, so if you really want to make changes in your community then you want to focus on those levels," said Reyes. "We vote these people in, and if you have a problem with them, you can vote them out."