Young, first time voters playing major role at the polls

Voter turnout has been tremendous. Young and first-time voters helped drive up the numbers during early voting.

Although, simply casting a ballot wasn't enough for many of them.


For a number of area youngsters, they voted early but their work is far from done.

With Election Day a day away they are still trying to encourage as many people as possible to exercise their right to vote.

They're using these last few hours paying virtual visits and even texting to ask, "Have you voted yet? If they're like no I don't have time I'm sending locations, the hours,” explains University of Houston student Shayama Manley.

RELATED: 2020 Election: Everything you need to know to vote in Texas

"For my generation specifically I think this election is going to have lasting impacts in my lifetime and beyond,” says Emma Brockway who is using Instagram, in-person, and everything in between to speak out about voting. "We've done tabling events, walking through the commons, and registering voters. This year I volunteered with the League of Women Voters.

"I marched in the band at TSU. I went down there as an alumni to make sure the whole band was registered,” explains Matthew Williams.

In fact, this was Williams's first time being a Harris County Volunteer Deputy Voter Registrar. "People give you the forms and you turn it in for them".

He lost count of the number of people he registered to vote in this election. "You know the power of voting when they had to fight to get that right. If it didn't matter that much you wouldn't have forces fighting them saying no women can't vote, no black people. I feel too much weight on me and it feels too weird to not vote. So that's why I'm super passionate about it,” says Williams.

"If you don't vote it's pretty much like someone else will be making the decision for you,” Manley adds. This was her first time as an Early Voting Election Worker. "In the future looking back it would be nice for me to say I was apart of the 2020 election,” Manley says.

They hope you will be part of this election too.
"It can completely change things when people vote,” says Williams.
"So just get out and vote,” Brockway adds.

Rice University Political Science Professor Bob Stein says younger voters 18-45 are representing a larger share of the vote cast in early voting. He says that the spot is usually reserved for people who are 60-64 years old.

"Younger people voting at a higher rate. People under 45 are voting at rates never seen before in Harris County and we're seeing these patterns in other metroplexes across Texas for early voters,” says Professor Stein.