Election 2020 Voting Virus Outbreak

A woman votes in the presidential primary election at the the Summit View Church of the Nazarene Tuesday, March 10, 2020, in Kansas City, Mo. The polling place served two precincts as voters who were scheduled to vote at a nearby senior living facility were directed to vote at the church after the facility backed out due to coronavirus concerns. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Olla Mohamed wants a candidate who advocates for minorities — and she’s not the only one.

The 21-year-old UF sociology senior and Black Student Union member said minorities are overlooked the most, and she believes President Donald Trump hasn’t been paying attention to that.

“He’s pushing to create a wall that nobody wants essentially, and it’s breaking up families,” Mohamed said. “That’s something that I don’t stand for simply because my parents are immigrants themselves.”

Since Trump took office immigration has been one of the issues at the forefront, like building a border wall, asylum, residency and more. 

Like many other UF students involved in a multicultural organization, Mohamed said she is planning to vote for a Democratic candidate in order to have her voice heard. 

College students are expected to play a pivotal role in the upcoming general election, with one in 10 eligible voters being part of Generation Z — a generation of people born after 1997, according to the Pew Research Center.  

Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders and Tulsi Gabbard are the three candidates left in the Democratic presidential primaries. After Super Tuesday, Biden won over older voters and black voters while Sanders won the support of younger voters and Latinos, according to the New York Times.

Josh Lua, culture chairman for UF’s Filipino Association under the Asian American Student Union, said he hasn’t kept up with the Democratic national debates, so he feels conflicted about who to vote for. 

However, the 20-year-old UF public health junior said he does agree with Sanders’ idea that every American should have free health care because he believes it is a human right. 

“While I might not agree with all of his viewpoints,” Lua said, “I definitely think that he has good ideas.”

Mauricio Pérez, a 20-year-old UF political science junior, said he helped about 50 students register to vote during a meeting for Member Leadership Program, a Hispanic Student Association sub-organization aimed to teach students about professionalism. 

Pérez, the Hispanic Student Association’s inter-cabinet liaison, said inclusivity and social justice were among the most important issues he considered when choosing to support Julian Castro — a former presidential candidate and the only Latino in the race. 

Castro, whose progressive campaign advocated for a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, ended his presidential run on Jan. 2, according to the New York Times.

“Maybe I’m a little biased because I’m Hispanic,” Pérez said. “But I really wanted to see, after a presidential term where the Hispanic community has been so targeted by the administration, a Hispanic presidential candidate.”

When it comes to this Democratic primary election, Pérez believes voters will have a difficult time deciding between Sanders and Biden at the polls because they represent two different sides of the Democratic political spectrum — progressive and moderate. 

He believes most people in the Democratic party don’t fit “neatly” into either of these groups, which could lead to voters being indecisive on who to vote for even at the moment they’re casting their ballot, he said. 

“Regardless of who you support or supported, it’s really just important that you make your voice heard,” Pérez said.

Contact Valentina Botero at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @lvbotero_.