Ahead of SC primary, teen voters say age won’t define them

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BEAUFORT, S.C. (WSAV) – Teen voters say they’re worried about the world they’re going to inherit and want a say in the national conversation, starting with the 2020 presidential election.

17-year-olds in the Palmetto State are eligible to vote in the primary elections, as long as they turn 18 before the November general election.

Tedi Light from the League of Women Voters in Beaufort said the push to get eligible 17-year-olds registered was immediate.

“It is even more vital for us to speak to juniors and seniors because so many of them are 17 and will be 18,” said Light. “We have to get in there and get these kids registered.”

As South Carolina gears up for the Democratic Presidential Preference Primary on Saturday, News 3 spoke to teenage voters at Battery Creek High School about what’s drawing them to the polls.

“Age doesn’t define intelligence”

17-year-old Halleluyah Dejesus is going to be working at a Beaufort County precinct this Saturday. But she never knew she’d be able to participate in the primary until a month ago.

“Not every candidate cares about what we care about and I feel like some of the older candidates, they don’t really understand the new generations,” said Dejesus. “I feel like if people our age are voting, then we can control who is in office.

“And if we control who’s in office, we can make a change in the world.”

Leann Hill, a young Latina, says she wants to be able to speak up for those she knows who don’t have a voice.

“As a younger generation, our voice is important and I feel like a lot of people don’t understand that,” says Hill. “We have different values and beliefs than the older generations above us.”

Lamar Johnson says his generation will be the one to experience the decisions made by current administrations, which is why he needed to share his voice.

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