In a matchup between Biden and Trump, many young voters say they might choose silence.

By Fortesa Latifi, Teen Vogue

For the first time since he became eligible to vote, Elias, 26, isn’t going to cast a ballot for president in the next election. Lillian, 20, hasn’t decided whether she’s going to vote or not. Lia, 28, is going to leave the spot for “president” blank on her ballot. And Zach, 22, is having a hard time convincing some of his friends that their vote matters.

vote button with question mark

After a record-breaking youth turnout in 2020 helped decide the election for President Joe Biden, a recent poll released by the Harvard Kennedy School shows that young Americans seem less likely to vote in 2024 than they were in 2020. According to the poll, at this point in the 2020 election cycle, 57% of Americans between ages 18 and 29 were planning to vote; that number has since declined to 49%. Though Gen Z voters prefer President Biden over his likely challenger, former president Donald Trump, only 35% of this demographic approves of Biden’s performance as president.

Given that young voters helped secure a win for Biden in 2020, lower youth-vote turnout in 2024 could change the outcome of the election. Still, some left-leaning young people have decided to abstain rather than vote for Biden or the Democratic Party, a candidate and a system some say they simply cannot support.

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