Gen Z voters are fired up and ready to make a difference. Voters of color in this demographic cohort say they are motivated to vote, likely to vote, and believe that their vote has power. And they’re hoping that this power translates into positive changes in abortion access and the economy.
In a recent poll conducted by the Advancement Project, 87 percent of Gen Z voters of color in Michigan, Florida, Georgia, and Virginia said they believed that abortion should be legally protected. The popular stance continues to present a challenge for conservative politicians who have supported abortion bans across the country and applauded the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
“Young people have been on the forefront of building a more just and inclusive future for all of us,” says Judith Browne Dianis, the Executive Director of Advancement Project. “Whether on the national, state or local level, young voters of color are hungry to elect leaders that represent them and they are pushing for real action on issues like abortion access, the economy, and systemic racism and discrimination.”
With young voters of color united around these critical issues, their vote could very well determine a number of key elections. As the Advancement Project points out, evidence shows that when young people turnout in elections, they change the outcome. An analysis of 219 national election surveys shows that when people under the age of 25 vote at higher rates, the results of the election tend to go in favor of how young people voted.
Because of abortion’s grip on the politicalsphere, many see abortion rights as reason enough to head to the polls. This year in Kansas, the Republican-controlled state legislature attempted to change the state Constitution to take away abortion access. When it came to a vote, the state overwhelmingly voted “no” to uphold reproductive rights. The support of young people to continue to protect abortion in the state constitution was instrumental. And that energy is expected to be upheld in the midterms.
“The Roe versus Wade thing. As a Black woman, that's very, very, very scary,” a Michigan respondent in Advancement Project’s poll stated. “I just want to see what else is going to come after this major thing that's happening.”
Dianis says Gen Z voters are certainly ready to make their voice heard, and she sees it as the Advancement Project’s responsibility to equip them with accurate information. Lauren Goldstein, Senior Research Manager at HIT Strategies concurs. “When equipped with the power of information about who and what is on the ballot and a belief in their own power to effect change through voting, young voters of color can usher in the change that they are looking for from their elected leaders and their government,” Goldstein says.