Arizonans have one week left to register to vote if they want to participate in the August primary, and that’s mobilizing a group of youth including members that aren’t even old enough to cast a ballot.
Generation Z votes on passion not party, and members are actively encouraging their peers to get to the polls.
“They might say, 'Hey I’m only 17 but you're 18, you have to go to the polls,'” says Dr. Corey Seemiller, ASU alum and author of Generation Z: A Century in the Making. “Their fervent desire to get their peers to the polls may increase voter rates.”
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Seemiller says voter turnout among young adults overall tends to be low, but Generation Z has its own unique reasons for casting ballots. Seemiller says members are motivated by passion rather than party.
“They want to know that they're safe and taken care of,” says Seemiller.
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She says political candidates must engage Generation Z on issues that matter to them like the cost of higher education, entering the job market and buying their first homes.
Generation Z’s passion for gun reform has culminated in the growing March for Our Lives movement.
“This generation, I think, is going to be the one that says no to party, polarity and actually gets things done,” says Jacob Martinez of March for Our Lives.
The Dobson High School senior isn’t old enough to register to vote, but some of his friends are.
“They're saying enough is enough,” says Martinez.
The movement is not defined by a political party and has the potential to take on more platforms.
“It's not black and white what we can support,” says Martinez.
Seemiller says members of Generation Z are approximately ages 8 to 23. Various recent polls show voter turnout for ages 18 to 29 to be anywhere between 28 percent, up to 48 percent.
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