What 2024 elections mean to Gen Z


By Brooke Protesto
April 17, 2024

Photo by Element5 Digital via Pexels.
Photo by Element5 Digital via Pexels.

Every election held in our country affects our future, and it’s in the hands of our youth.

PA Youth Vote, a nonpartisan collaboration of many students and educators who work together to elevate youth voter turnout shared some surprising statistics about the state’s youth voters in the last presidential election. “In the 2020 presidential election, 50% of citizens 18-29 voted- the lowest turnout of any age group.” 

Why are the youth votes so low in Pennsylvania? Here is what Cabrini students thought. 

Ashley Ea, a junior computer science major, thinks external influences affect youth voter turnout. “Based off of what their parents think or how they were raised, and then probably what they see on the media,” Ea said. 

Many at Cabrini believe that the media is holding back youth voters. Colin Stocklin, a sophomore communications major said that the media discourages youth away from voting due to misinformation and disinformation. Stocklin said, “They don’t really know what to believe, so they don’t know who to vote for.” However, social media and non-journalistic sites may not give the same information as reputable news outlets. 

Social media also significantly impacts youth voter turnout. Ethan Baker, a senior digital communications major makes a point about influencers on social media promoting voting registration. “I think that the media has a very large role to play in influencing youth voter turnout, especially influencers and anyone who has a large following on social media today.” 

Baker added, “There are a lot of things that are driven by social media and we’re seeing more and more influencers and celebrities promoting people to just register to vote. It’s already created such a large increase in people registering. So I think voter turnout is going to be a lot better than it’s been in years past in regards to youth.”

Aurora Piccione, a sophomore international business major, shared some of her thoughts on why people ho

Upcoming election graphic with information from the official Pennsylvania government website. Graphic by Brooke Protesto.

ld back from voting. “I think some people think it doesn’t affect them. But there are also factors like not everyone has a way to get to the polls and it deters them from voting or they think that they’re not educated enough to go.”

However, Piccione stresses the cruciality of voting, “Your vote matters no matter how much research you have done or haven’t done. There are so many voting spots, and they make it a big effort for you to be able to vote and you were given the right to vote so why wouldn’t you use it?” Information about voting by mail can be found here. 

Baker also preaches the significance of voting. He said, “I would say go vote. Don’t be discouraged if it feels like your vote doesn’t count. In the long run, everyone’s vote counts. They’re all counted. They all have meaning. And even if it doesn’t seem like that, it should have meaning to you.”

Voting resources

PA Youth Vote has many resources for those who are uncertain about the voting process. They provide many links, such as the link to register for voting, as well as to sign up for a mail-in ballot. For those who are not sure what party to choose, they included a quiz that can help you solidify your political alignment. This can all be found via this link.

PA Youth Vote also includes resources for educators. They have toolkits and presentations that allow teachers to spread the best possible information to their students. These resources can be found here; the toolkits are broken down by county, and provide information such as which offices are having elections and who is running in them. 

The organization also offers information for many of the counties in Pennsylvania regarding where, when, and how to vote. They also give information to those individuals who are interested in volunteering at the polls. Volunteer opportunities are found here

PA Youth Vote and the students at Cabrini are ready to do their part in the upcoming 2024 elections, will you?

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Brooke Protesto

Brooke Protesto is a Junior at Cabrini University. She’s a Communications Major with a Leadership Studies Minor. Cabrini was a big part of her childhood, her father is a part of Facilities and Athletics. “Take your kid to work” day was her favorite time of the year! It was only natural for her to enroll at Cabrini. Brooke spends her time playing softball, is a Resident Assistant on campus, DJs for Cavalier Radio, and is a reporter for the Loquitur. For her last year at Cabrini, she plans to make the most of it.

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