Cameron English Contributor
With the Pandemic and the economy on many voters’ minds, residents said they are headed back to the polls for Louisiana’s Second Congressional District Race because of the need to ensure that the nation remains on track under a new administration. With the Biden White House nearing its 100 days in office, many voters say they want to see Congress continue to fulfill its promises to voters who elected them in November. The second district runoff on April 24th includes State Senate Minority Leader Troy Carter and State Senator Karen Carter Peterson.
“Voting to me is important because it’s my voice when economic decisions are made,” said Kayla Davis, a student at Xavier University of Louisiana. The efforts by states like Georgia and Texas to restrict voting access that ultimately suppress African American turnout has inspired younger voters like Davis to want to participate in elections that often have lower voter turnout.
“We live in a land of democracy and the free. I want to believe that my voice matters and is heard just like anyone else when it comes to my country,” Davis added.
The Pandemic has prompted a lot of younger voters to realize that they can make a difference when they show up for elections. Many younger voters indicated that they are concerned about the state of politics and that they understand that if they do not participate in elections outside of the presidential ones, little can get done in Congress.
“Voting is important to me because voices need to be heard from everyone,” said Rico Johnson, who also attends Xavier.
Some young voters say they want to do more than just show up at the polls on election day. Gavin Johnson, who chairs his High School Democrats Organization said he also wants to keep leaders accountable while they are running for office and after they are elected.
“I am voting in the election to support Troy Carter,” Johnson said. “I know he is going to fight for us. Troy has been in the trenches all of his political career, and I admire him,” Johnson said. He said that long-term dedication to public service and to his city is what matters most in electing officials.
“I want a person that is going show up in Washington. So that’s what is pushing me,” Johnson said. “I want a person that is going show up for the 2nd District, and Troy is it.”
Despite preference for one official or another, young voters said they will hold whoever is elected accountable based on how they vote in office. Terrol Perkins, a local political organizer said he has seen too often that politicians forget their constitutions after they get into office. He said his voting is one of the most important ways to remind elected officials that they are there to represent their constituents.
“I am voting because bad public officials are elected by good citizens who don’t vote,” Perkins said. On April 24th, Perkins will join voters across Louisiana’s second district to determine former U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond’s replacement that was the lone Democratic-held seat in the state. Polls will open for election day voting on Saturday, April 24th at 6 a.m. and will close at 8 p.m.