It’s time for Gen Z to go to the polls


Abby Malloy

According to The Atlantic, only 20% of the younger voter population voted in 2014.

The 2020 Presidential Election is less than two weeks away and student voter turnout will be key in determining the outcome of the election.

Currently, the largest group of eligible voters are members of Generations Y and Z. This means that high school and college students will have a significant impact on the results, a percentage of Cape Coral High School students included.

Unfortunately, student voter turnout is typically low. According to Senior Jaden Bradish, “In 2014, it was predicted that only 21% of eligible youth voters would head to the polls. This means that roughly ⅘ of young people did not vote.” 

The many months of quarantine plus a newfound Tik Tok obsession may change those numbers though. This upcoming generation has already taken some bold stances and used the resources at their disposal to make a splash in the elections. The most recognized of these being their Trump Rally shutout in which they pre-bought nearly all the tickets and did not attend, leaving Trump with an empty arena. 

 “Youth have such an important role in elections, but are neglected by political campaigns because of these numbers,”  Bradish goes on to say. “We are not being reached out to because they do not believe we will go to the polls. But, if the youth were to turnout to vote this year, election results would be a night and day difference.” 

Still, some students remain unsure about whether or not their vote really matters. Senior Ava Diamond has a message for these individuals: “It has been proven statistically that every vote matters, so there is really no debate on the subject. Not exercising your right to vote is arguably amoral.”

In order to register to vote in Florida, you must be a U.S. citizen and at least 18 years of age. However, at age 16, students may pre-register. 

There are lots of ways to register to vote. Social media platforms have recently started using pop-ups that direct users to voter’s registration websites. The Supervisor of Elections’s website for Lee County  is Students can also register at the Department of Motor Vehicles or by mail.

 There are opportunities to register to vote at Cape High too. Some history classes provide students with class time to fill out the required paperwork for this process. I.B. Senior Shane Spotz registered to vote in his Law Studies class, last year. Spotz described his experience as “surprisingly easy,” saying that “it took five minutes from start to finish.”

History teacher Andrew Gascon has also encouraged students to sign up using the voter drive as motivation. Five minutes of each class period for two weeks were dedicated to getting any students who would be of age registered to vote. 

While it is too late to register to vote for the upcoming Presidential Election, students can go ahead and register for future elections. The next midterm election is in 2022. These are just as meaningful, as Florida residents will cast their ballots for governor, senators, and other important officials.

It’s important to pay attention to the issues on the table in each election. “There are many issues that young people face directly such as student loan forgiveness and climate change,” says Diamond. “If we want these issues addressed, we need to make sure our voices are heard, and the best way to do that is to vote.”