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Young voters could make big impact on upcoming midterm elections

Posted at 4:34 PM, Oct 31, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-31 18:51:05-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A record turnout for the midterm elections is expected Nov. 6 and a lot of attention is focused on the role millennials may play in deciding the outcome of races.

“I am voting on Tuesday,” Johnson County Community College student Meridith Masters said.

Between classes, next week's election is a frequent topic — the midterms and why the millennial vote matters. 

“We have to vote so our voice can be heard,” JCCC student Jeremiah Ikwuwunna said.

And perhaps so those voices can make a difference in the direction of U.S. politics.

“I think there is a wave," JCCC student Jake Gardner said. "I think there is a shift and young people are noticing things, and I think more young people are going to head out (to the polls)."

Recent survey data suggests that might be a rosy assessment. An NBC survey estimates that only 30 percent of millennials will “definitely vote" with another 26 percent who will “probably vote.” 

“If you want to bring a change, then you have to do it, can't regret it later,” JCCC student Eddy Muthoni said.

There are several contentious races in Kansas, where the Secretary of State’s office said 171,000 registered voters are between the ages of 18 and 24. 

“It comes back to impact us, the laws that are put into place," University of Missouri-Kansas City student Paige Rickman said. "They come back to affect us one way or another."

The current divisive political climate may well fuel higher-than-expected turnout from today's youth.

“As citizens we are supposed to vote, but why would you not vote at a time like this when you need change to happen and for change to happen we have to vote,” Ikwuwunna said.