VIDEO: Young voters turning out in record numbers in 2020

The polls close today at 8 p.m.

NextGen Drags

The Stay and Slay virtual drag show took over Twitch last May to encourage young voters to the polls. Promotional image

Jesus Lopez, Multimedia Journalist, Newscene

The Stay and Slay virtual drag show took over Twitch last May to encourage attendees to get in touch with their lawmakers about LGBTQ rights and to drive young voters to the polls.

Social media influencer Andrew Axel appeared wearing a purple wig and a flamboyant sequined jacket with a passionate message to share with the audience watching. 

“Make sure you are registered to vote,” Andrews said. “When you get that little thing in the mail, it makes you feel good about yourself that you have taken your voting right to heart, and that you are able to use those rights.”

Election 2020 graphicAthletes, celebrities, models and TikTokers alike are helping groups such as NextGen, When We All Vote and Rock the Vote engage young voters.

Nationwide, 99.6 million Americans cast their votes, according to the U.S Elections Project in its final numbers for Nov. 2.

And the youth vote is surging compared to the 2016 presidential election.

More than 6 million young voters between the ages 18 and 29 have already cast their ballots, as of Oct. 29.

“People are really starting to recognize just all of the different chaos within the political climate right now that voting is the only real say that we can have,” said Kaylee Corvin, a student at the University of Virginia to CNN’s Dana Bash.

While the COVID-19 pandemic has emptied college classrooms and paused social gatherings, one thing remains the same — young voters from both sides of the aisle remain committed to get people registered to vote and cast their ballot before the end of Election Day.

This election, one in 10 eligible voters will be between the ages of 18 and 23, according to Pew Research Center.

The push comes after millennials and Gen Z were the driving force behind the record-high voting turnout in the 2018 midterm elections, with a young voter turnout of 31%, the highest in 25 years.