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Bakersfield first time voters head to the polls

And these kids are doing their research!
Bakersfield teens voting for the first time
Posted at 7:51 AM, Mar 05, 2024
  • Do you remember the first time you voted? For some high school student's, today is the big day.
  • 23ABC's Ava Kershner tells us the trends among younger voters this year- and what to expect for this election season.

“I turned 18 in October, I registered like I think two weeks after my birthday,” said Belle Boren, a first time voter. 

Belle Boren's mission after she turned 18?

Register to vote.

“It was a priority, definitely,” said Boren.

But that's not the case for everyone in the ages of 18 to 24.

“Typically, historically, youth voting is very low,” said Ian Anderson.

Ian Anderson teaches political science to those just about to become of age to vote.

And says the younger generation may not know why their vote would make a difference.

“You’re 18 years old, you just haven’t paid taxes yet, you haven’t necessarily bought a house, you haven’t faced certain inequities, that inevitably all of us face that help to shape our engagement, our political ideology,” said Anderson.

Anderson says that younger voters are more focused on social and environmental issues, instead of who the actual candidates are.

“It's not enough to say: well I am Joe Biden and I'm Donald Trump. The question then becomes. What are we doing? You don’t have to be a rich elected elite to make change and social media has allowed a lot of that to happen,” said Anderson.

But the act of voting is not lost on all of the younger generation.

“I’m feeling really excited, I’m really excited to go out and actually do what I've seen my parents do and family members do. And I feel like voting is really important,” said Samuel Galagan, another first time voter. 

But before these Bakersfield voters head out to the polls, they are doing their research.

“I'll usually look at a bunch of different news sources to make sure I am not getting biased news, and then I discern what I am going to take from that to the election box,” said Boren. 

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