The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated challenges that Americans face in exercising their right to vote. For students like us, who find themselves scattered across the globe, the challenges may seem daunting. With 29 states and U.S. territories yet to vote this primary election season, including Pennsylvania on June 2nd, Penn Leads the Vote (PLTV) has been working to ensure that all Penn students, regardless of where they vote, are equipped with the resources and knowledge necessary to cast their ballot. We cannot allow the years of historic gains for young voters to stop because of this crisis. The youth voting gap persists. And now, more than ever, we must defend our futures and the health of our democracy by exercising our right to vote.
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The numbers are in — Penn student voting saw unprecedented growth in 2018, and the margins weren’t even close.
As an older, white man approached me, I smiled, clipboard in hand, ready to ask if he was registered to vote. He returned my smile with a cold, unimpressed stare.