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Many first-time voters participating in 2020 election

Posted at 5:10 PM, Nov 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-03 15:00:08-05

COLLEGE STATION, TEXAS — Many first-time voters are hitting the polls in masses this election season.

With record numbers of early voting across the country and across the state, it's safe to say the trend will continue on actual Election Day with a number of new registered voters participating in this year's election.

Texas A&M political science professor Kirby Goidel says there are always new voters in every election cycle, but this election is a little different due to the intensity of the candidates and the extreme choice voters can make.

"Personally, I was very excited to vote. First presidential election and kind of a big one," said Carlos Orozco, a Texas A&M sophomore.

Orozco says he believes people participating in rallies and protests are individuals who would normally vote no matter what, meaning first-time voters are seeing the intensity of this election and want to take part.

"Those people were already going to vote, but a lot of people are now looking at that and thinking, "Hey... maybe I should vote against that and that or for that and that,"" he added.

Twin brothers and Texas A&M freshmen William and Nick Cox made the three-hour drive to the Dallas-Fort Worth area to make sure their votes counted this year.

"It's become more like a trend now. It's like "Oh I voted, you need to go do your part," but for me that's not really what it is. It's just people have fought for my right to vote and I feel like I need to go use that," said William.

"I just wanted to have a voice, and that's something I could do when I am 18. Like I know I am an adult now, so I want to have my voice heard," said Nick.

Goidel says there is not only an increase in new and younger voters, but also voters over the age of 40, who are also voting for the first time.

"Some of those are Biden supporters who feel like the Trump four years have been too much and they can't take anymore and they didn't vote in 2016 and didn't think it mattered and now they think it does matter," he explained. "And some of those are Trump supports who are adamant about their feelings for Trump and don't think he has been treated fairly."

Goidel says when two candidates are polar opposites, it gives voters the power to make a significant decision.

"When you have two candidates who are playing to the middle, that doesn't excite voters as much, but when they feel like their choice is meaningful, that's what motivates people to come out and vote, and especially people who haven't voted in the past. People feel like the future of the country is on the line," he added.

Goidel says the aggressive push for voter turnout from both political parties this year is also driving people to the polls.