The US presidential election is described as the most important in many years. But millions of young Americans are likely to survive. David Gates (18) is one of them. He has not reached the deadline for registering as a voter. He thinks so. He’s not quite sure.
– It seemed so difficult. So many papers to be sent here and there. I did not fully understand it, says Gates to NRK.
Four years ago, only half of voters under the age of 24 voted.
Turnout is expected to rise in all age groups this year. Over 90 million Americans have already voted in advance. And most of the people we meet at Jacksonville University in Florida are going to vote. Some on Trump, some on Biden. Others leave. David Gates says he would like to participate.
– I’m not against voting. It just seems so difficult, he says.
In the United States, you must register as a voter, whether as a Democrat, Republican, or Independent, to be allowed to exercise the right to vote. The rules differ from state to state, and many state that they do not fully understand the rules as the reason why they are not correct.
Trump is taking over in Florida
– No one wants black liberation
In Richmond, Virginia, 22-year-old Naomi Williams has decided: Neither Donald Trump nor Joe Biden will get her vote. Williams voted both in 2016 and in the midterm elections in 2018, and has helped recruit new voters for the Democrats. But as a black activist, she thinks neither Biden nor Trump offers her any real alternative
– For me, they represent about the same. None of them are in favor of black liberation, says Naomi Williams.
She has little faith in the American electoral system and makes no secret of her disillusionment.
– I have knocked on 7000 doors for the Democratic Party. I have spent so much time getting good people elected. It has not provided any better conditions for people, she says.
The 22-year-old believes the two-party system is undemocratic.
– I refuse to participate in it, I mean it is not democratic. We are asked to vote, but we have no real choice. Both candidates build under the same oppressive system people like me live under every day, says Williams.
– What could have made you vote?
“I want to hear a politician talk about how the United States can end the long wars we are in. About how we should take care of the indigenous people here, how the police budgets should be cut,” Williams said.
She thinks she should vote in the local elections.
– There is a candidate I have threatened. My vote must go to black liberation, says the 22-year-old.
Overview of the US presidential election
Think friends would get angry
Chris Ryba (29) from Georgia is also skeptical of the US system.
– What effect does one of your voices really have? I wonder. We have a bad electoral system, it is not the case that all votes count equally, says Ryba.
He voted for Barack Obama in 2012 and signed Bernie Sanders four years ago. But this year he is unlikely to participate.
– I am more and more concerned with finances and have less faith in the state than before. No matter who wins, the whole big state apparatus is here. We are not talking about the role of the central bank or the state, he says.
Most of his friends will vote. He has not told them that he is unlikely to exercise his right to vote.
– I think they would be angry. We talk a lot about politics. People are so oblique. I call myself a curious observer, says Ryba.
– Is there anything that could make you vote?
– If we had a candidate who was even more authoritarian than Trump, a candidate I saw as dangerous, then I would vote against him, Ryba says.
He emphasizes that he has nothing left for Donald Trump.
– My apathy is not in support of Donald Trump. I do not think he is a good person, and I’m embarrassed on behalf of the United States. But I think the state’s role and actions are more important than people, says Ryba.
Maybe vote for Trump
Biology student Lauren Williams (19) in Florida is unsure if she should vote. She has signed up, but does not like Joe Biden or Donald Trump.
– I do not like the personality of any of them. And I do not like the negative focus, both just talk each other down, I do not think anything of that, says Williams.
She took a quiz to find out who she should vote for. The answer was third candidate Joe Jorgenson, who is running for the libertarian party.
– So maybe I’m voting for her?
She knows it does not matter much: the US electoral system is a two-party system, and it will be Joe Biden or Donald Trump who wins. Jorgensen does not have a chance.
– Maybe I’m voting for Trump. He has raised the salaries of the military, and I support that, she says.
Florida, the state of the sun, by all means. Trump almost has to win this state to win the wobble.
FloridaNumber of electors29
- Trump has announced a move here and won here in 2016
- Large Hispanic population and many white retirees
- Hard hit by the corona
Wins previous elections
- 2012 The Democrats
- 2008 The Democrats
- 2004 Republicans
- 2000 Republicans
Williams believes part of the reason so few young Americans exercise the right to vote is that they learn little about how the democratic system works.
“Many young people do not understand it, and we do not learn how the electoral system works at school,” says Williams.
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