DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Nineteen-year-old Sophia Fernandes is visiting Dallas from the University of Miami, but this trip home also meant a trip to the polls.
“I live on campus in college, and it’s kind of difficult to get mail and send mail and everything, and I really wanted to be able to vote for the first time in a presidential election,” she said.
This was her first time voting. She said she’s been waiting her turn to exercise her civic duty.
“It’s exciting, just the whole idea of being able to vote. I’ve always thought it was really important, and so finally being able to vote myself kind of makes me feel like I’m being heard or I have the ability to make a difference,” she said.
A recent Harvard Youth Poll of 18-29-year-olds found that 63% of those surveyed say they will “definitely be voting” compared to 47% in 2016.
Young voters are typically underrepresented at the polls, but these voters think this election is different.
“I think everyone really understands how important, how crucial this election is,” said 19-year-old William Jackson II, also a first-time voter. “I think hopefully a lot of young people in my age group realize that and will come out and vote.”
They know there are obstacles, including paperwork, deadlines, and living out-of-state, but they hope motivation outweighs all of them.
“I do understand the whole idea of there can be long lines, and it can be hot sometimes standing outside, but there also is the other side of that which is it’s really important to vote and to make your voice heard,” said Jackson.