Millennial voters talk about their experience


Kristen Stewart

Kristen Stewart

Two weeks after Louisiana’s primary elections, the state’s Millennial generation may have had a powerful impact on the electoral results.

Polling places opened their doors for the primary elections on March 5 and allowed Millennial voters to cast their ballot. According to the Louisiana Secretary of State’s office, registered voters between the ages of 18 and 34 make up about 29 percent of the state’s population, totaling 835,901. Since this number equalling about a third of Louisiana’s total registered voter population, which is about 2.9 million, millennials have a significant impact on election outcome.

As this year’s election progresses, it is being used as fuel for young voters. Some Millennials have taken advantage of that powerful voting opportunity.

Walter Ogozaly, 19, is a political science major at Tulane University. He said he voted for Clinton because he felt it was the right thing to do.

“I voted for her based on her long standing experience. I love that she was a first lady and then a Senator of New York. I think she’s electable, I think she’s experienced, I think she represents the people, and that’s what I really believe is important for a president,” Ogozaly said.

Alice Lee, 28, a psychology senior at Loyola University New Orleans, voted for Marco Rubio because she felt that he’s the most moderate compared to the other two candidates.

“I like that Rubio is pro-immigration, as well as genuinely pro-life. He also really seems like a compassionate and caring person overall,” Lee said.

Lee said that it’s important for young people to vote because they need to do their best to elect good leaders and politicians.

“We are inheriting the world. We need to make it a better place for ourselves and future generations. Every voice counts,” Lee said.

However, there were a few Millennials who were unable to vote in this year’s primaries. Thomas Lin, 23, is a New Orleans resident who ran into issues with registration which made him ineligible to vote.

“I registered before the deadline, but the office sent out a letter saying I needed to provide proof of my citizenship. I was not born in the United States. However, they gave a deadline for 10 days after the date on the letter, and my personal schedule didn’t allow me to go before the expiration,” Lin said.

Frances Tosca, 25, recently became a Louisiana citizen after moving from Minnesota. She found out that because she identified with a party other than Democrat or Republican, she could not cast a ballot. She preferred not to disclose which party that is.

“My political beliefs are not fully represented by either party, and when I registered, I didn’t want to affiliate myself with a party I don’t believe in, yet I have a strong opinion about who I want, and don’t want, to see as president, and wanted to participate in a primary that would allow me to be heard,” Tosca said.

JJ Lin, 27, currently lives in New Orleans and said she supports Bernie Sanders but does not oppose Clinton.

“I choose Bernie because his ideals/morals are more aligned with mine. In her debates, Hillary gives very politician-esque answers. I think the country would benefit from a drastic change and Hillary is not so different from Obama. I don’t oppose her but I prefer Bernie,” Lin said.

Because of the Obama’s campaign, Lin felt that young voters have a lot of power during the election process.

“Young people are the future of this country and they have the right to choose who their president should be and what direction this country should go in,” Lin said, “It’s easy for young people to be disengaged in politics because it’s so full of nonsense, but our future is directly tied to the state of this country.”