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Why rallying young Florida voters is important to win November's elections

Young voters are one of the key groups candidates need in order to win this November.

TAMPA, Fla. — Presidential candidate Joe Biden is making his first stop in Florida since officially becoming the Democratic nominee. 

Florida is a state key to winning the general election in November, with a number of key voting groups. 10 Tampa Bay's political analyst, Dr. Lars Hafner, says President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden will benefit from capturing votes from Latinos, veterans and young people in Florida.

Young voters, Gen Z and millennials, make up 37 percent of eligible voters this upcoming election, according to an analysis done by the Brookings Institute.

"It's an untapped amount of force if they [young voters] would come out and actually vote," said Dr. Hafner. 

"Young people are just the largest and most diverse groups of potential voters in this country," said Arielle Mizrahi, lead organizer at Florida PIRG Students. Florida is home to one of the biggest college student populations in the country, thanks to the country's largest university, the University of Central Florida. 

Florida PIRG students are active on 28 campuses across the state, registering voters and helping them navigate information on how and where to vote, especially if they're going to school away from home. 

"It boils down to logistics of voting. That's what gets people caught up, which is why we run a strong peer to peer program, even virtually," said Mizrahi.

Students are encouraged to vote, whether they send an absentee ballot home or if they register to vote in Florida where they go to school. 

"Our model is based on peer to peer mobilization because we know a face to face conversation, whether it's a roommate or best friend or student organization, that's how we ensure people turn out," said Mizrahi. "The way we're making sure people actually see us and go out to vote is to make sure there's a button on every platform, on class portals, school websites, that says register to vote."

After the school shooting at Parkland in 2018, young voters headed to the polls to enact political change in greater numbers than they had in years past.

"Young people should have a say, they should vote to have a voice in electing people that will make decisions that affect all of us," said Mizrahi.

The deadline to register to vote in November's general election is October 5.

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