Voter turnout for the 2020 election has far exceeded expectations during early voting, largely due to many Americans stepping up to cast their ballots for the first time.
McLennan County is seeing a large number of first-time voters due to the presence of several colleges.
“I feel like this election is a pretty big election especially, so our generation having a impact on this and being able to vote is pretty big,” said first-time voter Jenny Sang.
“They had a table out by the fountain a few days ago where they were handing out stickers that said, "I am going to vote," not, "I have voted," but it was, "I am going to vote." It was like I had never seen that before,” said first-time voter Ellie Saunders.
Students at Baylor University say they have noticed a difference in participation this election among their peers.
“I feel like it's less common to not vote than to vote, which is weird. Like when I turned 18, it was like nobody was really voting, and now if you’re not voting, its like, "Oh, why aren't you voting?"” said Saunders.
“My generation of voters, everybody is really avid about it. There was a lot of voter registration events that took place on campus, which was really exciting to see a lot more people get involved. But I think a lot of people went out and voted,” said first-time voter Zack Allen.
While the ballot can be intimidating the first time around, Baylor students told 25 News they sought out extra resources along with added research before casting their ballot.
“There was this one website that had lined up the issues really nicely on where the people stood,” said first-time voter Mady Hickey.
“It was a pretty easy process. I just made sure that I did my research before I submitted my vote because that was the most important thing for me,” said Allen.
No matter if you are voting in-person or by absentee ballot, first-time voters have all said they are excited to be able to do their part and help pave the future for our nation.
The polls open starting at 7 a.m. Tuesday and stay open until 7 p.m. For McLennan County voters, you can head to the McLennan County Elections website to find out which of the 34 vote centers is closest to you.