Young American voters are sharing their experiences as they vote in a new President and legislators.
Democratic candidate, Joe Biden, and Republican candidate, Donald Trump, went head to head on Tuesday in what has been described as the tightest race in US election history.
When SaharaReporters visited downtown Los Angeles, California, shortly after voting ended at 8:00pm (Pacific Standard Time), the conduct was largely peaceful although a protest had broken out.
Many young people had cast their ballots in what is expected to be the highest turnout of young voters in a presidential election since 2008.
One of the young people, who spoke with SaharaReporters, said she was voting to ensure that institutional change, which had driven inequality over the years were effected.
She said, “My name is Maddie and I am 23 years old, third election voting and I voted mail-in ballot this time around. I did it about a month ago because I felt it was important to get my voice heard. I also feel that there are a lot of local measures that will help my voice be heard that I feel very strongly about including Measure J which will help amend 10% back to the community with healthcare, housing, a justice system which is currently in my opinion really bad.
“My vote has never been suppressed because I am from Los Angeles and I am also white, so my vote has never been suppressed in my life but I am also very privileged — I grew up in a place with a lot of resources to know about voting and the importance of it. While I do to think voting is the only thing, I think it is a really important aspect.
“I would like to see the current President out of the office and I would like to make sure that there is reform in the presidency and in general. You cannot vote a system that has been pressing black people and people of colour for over 240 years. That is not what I am expecting to of this election.
“I hope that Mississipi takes down their last confederate flag, the symbol in their flag. It would be the last one in the United States. I hope for change.”
WATCH VIDEO: Young Voter Shares Voting Experience In Downtown Los Angeles
Another young voter, who simply identified himself as Jazz, said the protest started as a ‘get Jackie Lacey out of office’ affair but had now turned to a vote watching vigil.
He said, “It started off as a get Jackie Lacey out of office protest however it kind of turned into an election watch party, a lot of us hurdled around monitors showing the election results in different states and there are people dancing to different kinds of music and it was a cool time.
“The voting process today was pretty easy, it was more electronic base to keep up with the time and to help with getting rid of election rigging so it was pretty easy to obey and to see how they implemented it.
“It matters as a black person because if you are uneducated and you are unaware of the positions for office and the propositions that are being voted on, it can seem kind of overwhelming especially on the basis of like — you might not know certain words that they are using. Politicians are known to say one thing and mean something else.
“I was one of the uneducated voters, I wasn’t too aware on a lot of the propositions, however when it comes to one of the general elections, it looks objectively like America loses no matter who wins.”
SaharaReporters, New York