Local first time voters are getting to the polls to use their voice.
A national survey by Harvard University shows a record number of 18 to 29 years olds saying they planned on voting this election. According to early counts, young people on track to break their voter turnout record from 2008 which was 48%.
For first time voters like Karen Ambriz, getting out to the polls means being a role model to others.
“It was a great kind of responsibility for me, to go out and vote, and set an example for my family and my siblings,” she said.
She said voting helped her take a stand on issues that are important to her.
“Coming from an immigrant family, I think that’s one of the important things for me,” she said.
Ambriz is one of many casting their ballot for the first time. The first time voters Local 4 spoke with today said they are excited to use their voice and vote.
“I’m very excited to be able to get the opportunity to vote and exercise my right to vote,” Davenport resident Mariah Martinez said. She believes more young people are paying attention.
“Our generation has been speaking up and pushing out that we will come to vote, and we’re going to make our voices heard,” she said.
Elena Vallejo voted today in Rock Island and had this message for younger voters.
“Vote because it’s going to change your future, our future,” she said. “A lot of older people, it won’t impact them as much, but this is our future.”