SAN DIEGO — A group of first-time voters voiced what matters to them in the 2020 General Election.
During the fourth Democratic presidential candidate debate, students from San Diego County watched in the News 8 studios to discuss the candidates answers on policies.
In a News 8 initiative, “First-Timers” series, 15 students from Sweetwater High School District, San Diego Unified School District, Poway Unified School District, Miramar College, MiraCosta College, Palomar College and Mesa College participated in the first meet-up.
The Secretary of State reported in February 2019, that there were 11,666 pre-registered voters in San Diego County. Statewide there are 142,717 pre-registered voters.
Young voters have a voice and we want them to be heard. Students from different political views, ideologies, philosophies, cultural backgrounds and communities joined the conversations.
“I hope to hear on specific policy and what they plan to do upon election,” said Phillip Latamondeer, Miramar College student, leaning democrat.
“If I could vote for anyone right now, I would vote for Trump, said Matan Bar, Del Norte High School senior.
News 8 will follow the students throughout the elections process to see if their support for candidates change, policies change and their viewpoint on politics.
“I used to kind of really follow Biden, and then all these things came out about whether we can rely on him,” said Valentina DuPond, Bonita Vista High School student concerned about climate change.
Students were also fired up when talking about healthcare and Medicare for all.
“The people that can’t pay off private insurance, should have the ability to wait if they want to,” said Maddi Austin-MiraCosta College student, liberal.
Bar answered, “Why should the government pay?”
Taxes and jobs hit a nerve with many students who voiced concerns about taxes.
“We shouldn't have to work 24/7 to live. I think it's about the day-to-day life of civilians,” said San Diego Met High School student, Endiya Griffin who is registered with the Green Party.
Many of the students didn’t stay quiet when talking about gun reform either, but were disappointed that the candidates did not discuss immigration or climate change.
“I would have loved to hear where they stand on immigration policies,” said Tiffany Quintero, Mesa College student, progressive.
Despite the back-and-forth during the night, it was respectful and many of the students listened even if the policies didn’t align with their beliefs.
“I'm really excited to see people listen to each other,” Mithil Pujar, Del Norte High School student, fiscally conservative.
The hope is to listen and to understand first-time voters and why their voices matter.
“My voice matters. I'm human,” said Tatiana Howell, Madison High School Student, liberal.
Throughout the year News 8 will check in with students on issues, laws, headlines, candidates.