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A Gen Z awakening at the ballot box

With young Americans forming the backbone of protests against racial injustice and structural inequality in the United States, many people are wondering if this is a pivotal moment where Generation Z (defined as those Americans born after 1996, and often referred to as “Zoomers”) can translate protest into votes.

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With young Americans forming the backbone of protests against racial injustice and structural inequality in the United States, many people are wondering if this is a pivotal moment where Generation Z (defined as those Americans born after 1996, and often referred to as “Zoomers”) can translate protest into votes.
  • By the 2020 election, Generation Z is expected to account for 1 out of every 10 votes, with Trump’s challenger, former Vice President Joe Biden, projected to have a 24-point advantage among 18-29 year-olds.
  • We conducted a survey of Americans age 18-24. We found a generation that’s eager to shape politics but unsure whether voting is worth the effort. While Zoomers want to make voting easier, they still cite a lack of candidates speaking to their concerns as a primary reason for not voting.
  • More than 75 percent of survey subjects said that voting was a duty, while only around 35 percent said they needed help registering to vote or finding their polling location.
  • More than 77 percent of respondents said that having more locations to register (e.g., schools, retail locations) would make them more likely to vote.  Similarly, 59 percent said same-day registration would also make voting easier.
  • It is not difficult to predict that Gen Z is poised to become a major force in this fall’s elections, particularly given the energy that young people are harnessing in protests across the nation against policy brutality and racial inequality.