For some 18-year-olds, today’s recall election in California will be an opportunity to vote for the first time.
On both sides of the aisle, newly eligible voters told CNN they were eager to enter the special election to decide the fate of Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom.
For her part, Camille Colker was frustrated when she missed the opportunity to vote in the 2020 presidential election by just two days.
So when Colker – who turned 18 on November 5, 2020 – received her mail-in ballot for the reminder, she jumped at the chance to return it.
Colker voted “no” on the recall, citing environmental justice, the pandemic response and misinformation as the issues “at stake” in Tuesday’s election.
“I felt excited to vote, but also incredibly under pressure,” said Colker, given what she described as the seriousness of each of these issues.
Likewise, Victoria DaSilva, who turned 18 in March, said she was “excited that there is an opportunity” to vote “so soon” because she believed she would have to wait until her midterm. 2022 to vote.
“I was so happy that I was finally able to participate in government because I feel like it is so important to be an active member of our government,” said DaSilva, a Manhattan Beach native and new student. freshman at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). “Even though it was just a question, I was happy to be able to make my voice heard a bit. “
DaSilva, who voted “no” on the recall and returned her ballot on Monday, said she had always “taken for granted” life in a Democratic state and feared Tuesday’s election “could reverse the trend”.
Meanwhile, Jerri Lopez, who turned 18 in May, said voting in the recall elections was “a great experience”.
“I couldn’t vote in the last presidential election, which really disappointed me, so I was delighted to know that I could vote on the recall,” said Lopez, a native of San Diego and a college student from. first year at the University of Southern California.
Lopez voted “yes” to recall Newsom and told CNN that “the general unity of California is at stake in this recall.”
She said she was worried about “strict” mask warrants, vaccine warrants and “potentially another shutdown when it comes to Covid” if Newsom were to stay in power.
Lopez voted to replace Newsom with Republican candidate Larry Elder.
And while Marin Ruiz, who is 19, voted for the first time in the 2020 presidential election, she said the recall provided her with “the greatest exposure and first-hand experience” that she has had so far with the Republican Party.
“This reminder feels more real to me personally, just because I feel like my vote matters more than in a presidential election. It’s literally hitting closer to home, ”University of Southern California College Republican president Ruiz told CNN.
“Californians have been directly affected by the policies over the past year,” Ruiz said, adding that unemployment, crime rates, school closures and mask warrants are all issues at stake. in the reminder.
Last weekend, Ruiz knocked on doors to get the vote out in San Bernardino, Calif., Where she met Elder.