Sol on the Street: Local students speak about elections and voting

March 3, 2020 /

Featured photo: Haley Schlechta

With the California 2020 primary elections happening today, young people across California are preparing to vote today. 

While the primaries in Kern County have two measures and one proposition on the ballot, the main focus for many local young voters is the election of presidential candidates.

Young voters, ages 18-29, played a significant role in the 2018 midterms and are poised to shape elections in 2020 and beyond, according to research at Tufts University’s Tisch College of Civic Life. In the 2018 Midterm election, voter turnout for people between 18 and 29 years old went from 20 percent in 2014 to 36 percent in 2018, the largest percentage point increase for any age group — a 79 percent jump, the U.S. Census Bureau reports.

Turnout among college students also played a big role in 2018 election, at 40.3 percent, CNN reports.

Kern Sol News wanted to see how local college students are feeling about voting today. This election day, California State University, Bakersfield students voiced their opinions on the Democratic and Republican candidates.

“I plan on voting for Bernie Sanders today. He has a lot of experience. I feel like he’s someone to look up to. He’s been through different eras, and he provides sanctuary as a leader.”

– Haley Schlechta 

Isabella Ochoa

“I’m going to be voting today, but I’m undecided. No candidate is appealing to me. Who knows if what they’re offering will really happen.”

– Isabella Ochoa 

Rath Rojas

“I won’t be voting today because I’m ineligible as a DACA enrollee. But if I could vote, I would vote for Bernie Sanders. I’m feeling the Bern.”

– Rath Rojos

Phillip Mulligan

“I voted for Donald Trump last night by mail. I just like his business orient, though I don’t necessarily agree with all that he says. But I agree with him from an economic standpoint and how he puts America’s economics first.”

– Phillip Mulligan

Stephen McCoy

“I voted for Trump last night. His ability to stand up and not be a pushover is appealing to me. He’s not afraid of anyone. I don’t agree with all his statements and the words he uses, but he gets a lot done.”

– Stephen McCoy

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Paige Atkison

Paige Atkison is a youth reporter for South Kern Sol. She is the editor in chief at The Renegade Rip at Bakersfield College and has been selected to partake in South Kern Sol's CA 2020: Democracy Media Fellowship.