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Young people in CSRA get energized about the election

Published: Sep. 22, 2020 at 6:24 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Tuesday was National Voter Registration Day, and it was on full display at schools on both sides of the river.

At Augusta University, dozens of students across campus registering to vote for the November elections.

Students this year feel it’s their responsibility to make a difference. And if you walked through campus at AU, it was probably hard not to be asked -- “Have you registered to vote?”

With young people pushing each other to be part of change, the 2020 election is getting more voters. Some experts say they will be the key to November.

“Policy is really important in making in whether people live. It’s actually a life and death thing right now,” said Preethi Reddi, a medical student at Augusta University.

Reddi and Callie O’Bryant are medical students at AU. They say young voters feel it’s their time.

“'You better vote' is the general mindset,” O’Bryant said.

In Richmond County, only 11.5 percent of registered voters are 18 to 24. But that’s about a one and a half percent higher than in May of 2018.

Students like Kingsley Barrett are volunteering to encourage others.

“Social justice, police reform, and all the issues in the news. It’s just so important to be the advocate for change you want to see in your community,” said Barrett, another student at AU.

Barrett is Canadian and is trying to get his citizenship here in the U.S., so he can’t vote in this year’s election.

“I want to improve the area, and the country that I live in-- so that’s why I think it’s so important,” he said.

At North Augusta High School, dozens of seniors signed up to vote with the South Carolina League of Women Voters.

“You can’t go on YouTube and watch anything without seeing advertisements saying you need to vote for this person or that person-- or even go register to vote,” student Bryce Anderson said.

Anderson thinks most of his friends who can vote, will vote.

“With everything that’s going on in our country and around the world, I think now is the time we need to preserve our democracy and protect our country the most,” he said.

Officials with the Richmond County Board of Elections say registering to vote is great but it’s only step one. Especially this year, with absentee ballots and early voting likely playing a big role.

Copyright 2020 WRDW/WAGT. All rights reserved.

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