Young voters speak series: More Florida

This is the third and final part of a series that includes the takes of dozens of young voters on the 2020 election. The first two parts can be read here and here.

Jose De Castro plans to vote in the upcoming election not because there is a candidate that he likes, but because it is his duty as a U.S. citizen.

“I’m voting for Trump because he is the least worst out of the two candidates,” said De Castro, who is 23 and a sophomore studying international business at Florida International University.

De Castro was born in the United States but raised in Venezuela and only came to his native country when he was 18.

“The political and social situation that the country is going through are some of the main reasons why this election is important for our future as a country,” said De Castro, a Republican who thinks President Trump is making the country great again.

He said Republican leaders have handled social issues better.

“The Republican states had managed the riots and racial conflicts that had been going in the country better than the Democratic states,” De Castro said.

– Kelly Bradley

Kelly Bradley is a broadcast journalism student at Florida International University who hopes to eventually become a newscaster. A native of Venezuela, her goal is to move to New York to pursue her dream. 

When Maria Jose Nebreda votes this year, it will be because she thinks President Donald Trump is racist and homophobic.

The 23-year-old fears that reelecting Trump will bring more chaos and division in the country.

“How can a person who does not accept the beliefs and differences of the people be the correct candidate to govern a country?” she asked.

Nebrada, who works at Warner Music Group, hails from Venezuela and is concerned with racial and gender issues.

She fears the country will become a dictatorship if Trump is reelected.

“I fear that the land of the free, will become just as Venezuela, a dictatorship with a president who doesn’t respect people’s rights and freedom,” she said.

– Kelly Bradley

Antonia Bremeyer can’t vote, but she hopes everyone she knows will vote for anybody other than President Trump.

A 21-year-old Florida International University student from Frankfurt, Germany, she is not a citizen and is in this country on a student visa.

While she is not able to vote herself, she encourages everybody around her who can vote to do so.

Trump, she said, “is just not a good president, [because of] the choices he has made and how he handles politics,” said Bremeyer.

That doesn’t mean she loves the Democratic candidate, former vice president Joe Biden.

“Joe Biden isn’t the ideal but it’s better than what we have now,” she said.

– Adriana Calderon

Adriana Calderon is a journalism student at Florida International University who hopes to become a news reporter. She has always loved the thought of being on TV and in the future she plans on moving to Los Angeles to pursue acting.

Gregory Merizier is excited about the upcoming election because this is the first time he will vote.

And, like many others, Merizier will vote for former vice president Joseph Biden simply because he wants President Trump out of the White House.

“The guy is a joke, a habitual liar, no love, no empathy or caring towards others,” he said. “The guy is just purely arrogant.”

Although not his favorite candidate, Merizier said Biden does not need job training and will restore America to the great nation it is.

Merizier, 24, is a nursing student at Miami Regional University, and an immigrant from Haiti.

His main concern is immigration issues.

“President Trump’s policies against immigrants are personal, and his disrespect for other countries is disgusting,” Merizier said, recalling that the president publicly called Haiti a “shithole.”

He believes that with Biden as president, Caribbean countries will be treated with respect.

– Ronald David

Ronald David is a student majoring in broadcast media with a minor in political science. Ronald hopes to have his own talk show one day or be part of one like “The View,” “The Talk” or “The Real.”

On Nov. 3, Daniel Klumpp will once again place his trust in President Trump.

Klumpp, 24, studies mechanical engineering at Florida International University.

He is confident the incumbent president will secure a second term. But his decision comes with a concern. He acknowledges the political conflicts in the U.S. and agrees that things will get harder if the president doesn’t focus more on ending what he sees as chaos.

“It honestly could be better,” he said. “At the end of the day, people are struggling— I, myself, am one of them— and I just hope Trump does something about it.”

Raised by a Cuban mother and German father in Miami, Klumpp was taught to fight for his beliefs.

His parents’ lessons, he said, have prepared him for the criticism he’s received for backing President Trump.

“People need to learn some manners,” he said. “You shouldn’t be ostracized just because of your political views. There should be a space where we can disagree, and it be okay to do so.”

– Elizabeth Garcia

Elizabeth Garcia studies mass communication at Florida International University and works as a soccer coach at Tropical Park. Elizabeth’s goal is to combine her love for soccer and multimedia production, and start her own sports media business across South Florida.

Gina Corrales is voting Republican this year. 

Corrales, 24, a member of the Liberal Party wants people to know she is not a Donald Trump supporter and said he’s a racist and a misogynist.

“The thing is I’d rather vote for a socially incorrect candidate than a communist one,” she said.

Joe Biden’s healthcare-for-all plan “sounds like Dictator Fidel Castro’s proposals for Cuba in the 1950s,” Corrales said.

Corrales is a daughter of Cuban immigrants who fled Cuba to seek asylum in the United States.

“I disagree with Trump in almost everything, but I know that he won’t turn the U.S. into Cuba.”

Corrales works at Jackson Memorial Hospital and has seen the effect of the coronavirus pandemic.

While she believes it’s time to reopen the country, she disagrees with Trump’s decisions to keep the country open when the pandemic began back in January.

“I work at a hospital where I see COVID-19 patients every day and I still agree with Trump. It’s time for life to go back to normal,” she said.

– Yanelis Luzardo

Yanelis Luzardo is a journalism student at Florida International University who hopes to become a news reporter and film critic. A Florida native, she is double-minoring in law and film studies.

When Samintha Jeudy casts her vote next month, it will be for her second choice.

Jeudy, 19 and studying health science at Florida Atlantic University, supported Bernie Sanders before he dropped out of the Democratic race for president in early April.

She described the eventual Democratic presidential nominee, former vice president Joe Biden, as “the next best thing.”

“As far as the presidential candidates, neither one is really good to me but one is somewhat better to have than the other,” she said.

The coronavirus pandemic, police shootings of Black men and women and Black Lives Matter protests played a role in Jeudy’s decision.

Jeudy believes President Trump mishandled the pandemic.

“He didn’t take the proper precautions,” she said. “He was so ignorant about it.”

– Briana Mauri

Briana Mauri is a communications major at Florida International University. Born and raised in Miami, she wants to attend law school and become a lawyer to defend those falsely accused. 

Political science major Hannah Anton intends to vote President Trump out of office in November.

Anton, 20, who is a junior at the University of Central Florida and the president of the College Democrats, is supporting Biden.

A political science major, Anton says Biden’s chances depend on getting out the vote.

“Voter turnout was not good in 2016,” she said. “So, I’m hoping people have learned their lesson, and realized that small margins aren’t enough. We need as much turnout as possible.”

She said she hopes Biden as president will invest in community programs to alleviate racial tensions throughout the country.

The Black Lives Matter movement has made progress in addressing these issues, Anton said, but there is still more to accomplish.

“We’re fighting for the soul of our nation,” she said. “We’re fighting to save democracy.”

– Juan Minera

Juan Minera Jr. is a journalism major at Florida International University in his senior year. He is originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, and plans on becoming an English teacher.

If there is something Navid Ghannad knows, it’s that every vote matters and that young voters can change the nation’s future.

“Vote like your life depends on it,” said Navid, 21, who studies public relations and advertising at Florida International University. “Because it does, in so many ways, especially young voters.”

Navid, a Tampa native, has family who immigrated from Iran and have faced Islamophobia since 2017, when President Trump enacted a policy banning people from several predominantly Muslim countries.

The president has labeled Muslims as terrorists who hate the United States.

“Whether you want to say he’s racist or not, he aims to get the racist vote through talking in a very racist way,” Ghannad said.

Ghannad praised Biden’s stance on systemic racism – that it’s real – and his support for the LBGTQ+ community.

“This is our future we’re voting for, this is what our country is going to be like in the next couple of years,” he said.

– Amy Neuman

Amy Neuman is a sophomore broadcast media major at Florida International University.  A Florida native, she aspires to move to New York City or Los Angeles to chase her dreams of becoming known in the entertainment industry through her love of makeup, art, theater, and creative writing.

Sasha Joseph, a 21-year-old nursing student at Nova Southeastern University, is a first-time voter. She is backing Joe Biden one hundred percent.

Joseph was never involved with politics, but after the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and other Black people shot by police, she realized change starts with voting.

“I knew I had to start voting,” she said, “not only for presidential elections, but general elections too.”

Joseph tried to vote in 2018 but was turned away, she said.

“My registration was not active, I was sent away to get it fixed at a court out in North Miami,” she said. “I just left it alone and went back to living my regular life.”

But that’s changed.

“If I don’t do my part,” she said, “I will be failing so many people that look like me, the justice we need.”

Edvina Paul

Edvina Paul is a journalism student at Florida International University who hopes to work for a major news site in New York or Washington, D.C. She hopes to use her passion for writing and politics to make her dream job a reality. 

Kevin Fuerte does not know whether he will vote or not because he does not believe that either President Trump or Joe Biden is what the country needs. 

“Honestly, I’m not sure I’m going to vote this year, he said. “I disagree with Trump on education, foreign policy, women’s issues and the economy. Despite all this, I don’t think Biden can do any better.”

Fuerte, 23, who is a film student at Miami Dade College, said he is tired of the status quo. 

“It’s the same thing every election”, he said. “A bunch of old guys who make empty promises then do the same thing their predecessor did.”

He’s particularly concerned about Trump and Biden’s age. Both are over 70.

“I vote every year, and it’s a nursing home,” he said. “The older generation tends to favor more traditional values and older candidates lean towards that. This country can’t progress if our candidates are stuck in the past.”

– Fernando Portal

Fernando Portal is a journalism student at Florida International University. A Miami native, he plans on going to law school after graduation.