Almost a month after the 2018 election, politically active students are already looking forward to what policy they would like to see passed over the next two years and have their sights set on next year's local election.
Alana Edwards, president of UNC Young Democrats, said 2018 was an important election for youth turnout.
“I think we saw nationwide and in North Carolina vastly increased youth turnout, and a lot of what we saw in 2018 was related to youth activism growing in general, especially around gun violence,” Edwards said. “Young people were excited and mobilized in a way they weren’t before.”
The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement at Tufts University estimated 31percent of eligible voters ages 18 to 29 voted in 2018, compared to 21 percent in 2014.
Edwards said the next couple of years are important for continuing that mobilization and activity.
“Since this is an off election year and things like town council and soil and water, I don't think we’ll see the same turnout in 2019 that we did in 2018, but hopefully the trend of mobilization and activism will continue,” she said.
Cody Johnson, a member of the executive board of UNC College Republicans, said youth had a huge impact on the 2018 election.
“I think that’s a good thing overall,” Johnson said. “They didn’t always vote Republican I’d say, but it’s definitely good having lots of people voting.”
Johnson said UNC College Republicans was also very vocal and active leading up to the election. Johnson knocked on doors for a few campaigns and worked at polling places for early voting.