Young people in South Florida explain why they vote – or don’t (audio story included)

Young Americans are known as the group that votes the least, especially minorities. Some say it’s not that they lack interest in politics – it’s that they feel their voices are not heard.

“With young people feeling like our voices haven’t mattered for so long and feeling as if older people dominate the conversation, it’s really difficult to get people out to vote and to feel involved,” said Alex Anacki, a 19-year-old student at Florida International University.

Anacki voted at FIU for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders on March 2, the first day of early voting in Miami-Dade County.

He thinks that Sanders’ College for All proposal is needed to bridge the economic gap.

“I grew up watching my parents struggle to pay off student loan debts from state schools in New York, for both undergraduate and grad school,” he said. “So I know that even in public universities the issue of student debt and college affordability is real.”

Mauricio Haughton is a 20-year-old Broward County resident originally from Jamaica. He is voting for the first time after becoming a U.S. citizen in 2019. A main issue for him is foreign policy.

He wants to help make the American political climate less divided by choosing a moderate candidate. He will be voting for former Vice President Joe Biden.

Nicola Franchesen is a 24-year-old alumna from the University of Florida. She is most interested in policies that relate to environmental conservation and public health care.

“The main deciding factors for me when choosing a candidate are the policies about conservation, global warming and health care,” Franchesen said.

She will vote for Biden. She believes that he is the best candidate because of his accomplishments as vice president during the Obama administration.

“I believe that Biden has more concrete ideas for the health care system,” she said. “He could get things done in the past, for instance, Obamacare.”

A recent poll from Florida Atlantic University showed the consolidated support from Floridians towards Biden, with a 61% over Sanders’ 25%. However, Sanders has 35% of young people’s support while Biden only has 15%.

Florida has 248 delegates at stake, the fourth largest count after California, New York and Texas. It is an important state for the Democratic candidates. Biden’s victory here — as well as in Illinois and Arizona — has increased pressure on Sanders to drop out of the race.

According to a Telemundo poll, Biden is preferred by 48% of Latino voters in Florida compared to the 37% that support Sanders.

Jueisy Nicolle Garcia is a senior journalism student minoring in marketing. Her area of expertise is the entertainment. As she strength her investigative skills, she dreams to work abroad and become a war audiovisual reports developer. A Peruvian talent hungry for adventure.

Alejandra Marquez Janse is a Venezuelan journalism student minoring in political science. She is passionate about understanding policy and informing people on issues that affect them.