Photo by Parker Johnson on Unsplash

More Californians registered to vote in Tuesday’s midterm election than in any election before, according to Secretary of State Alex Padilla, and turnout was high in the Bay Area.

“It is nearly unprecedented for California to set a voter registration record in a midterm election,” Padilla said, noting that 19.6 million Californians were registered. “We can’t help but recognize that this is one of the most important, yet politically charged elections that we’ve seen in a long, long time… Democracy works best when everyone participates.”

Students from San Francisco State University asked some of those voters what motivated them to participate on Election Day. Here’s what they said:

Photo by Parker Johnson via Unsplash.
Jason Cabassi, 47, podcaster, San Francisco, voted at Lakeshore School

“I’m voting because I hate Trump. I haven’t voted in all the elections, but most. I really want the Democrats to take back the House; that is the main reason (I voted)”

“I think I would have voted no matter what, but I listen to a podcast called Pod Save America, with Jon Favreau, who used to be Obama’s speechwriter, where they interview different candidates and talk about the issues, and that really keeps me motivated me. I am trying to talk to my own listeners on my podcast to tell them to vote too.”

Photo by Parker Johnson via Unsplash.
Samantha Diaz, 21, student, San Francisco, voted at Lakeshore School

“I think it is important for our voices to be heard, especially if we want to change what is happening.”

“I’ve seen a lot of different advertisements and a bunch of different organizations at school that ask to make sure that you registered for vote. It has influenced not just me, but everyone, I feel. If you want anything to happen, go out and do it and vote.”

Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash.
Nate Wilson, 20, student, San Francisco, voted at Lakeshore School

“After Trump got elected, people are more conscious.”

“On Twitter and on Instagram are like go vote, go vote, we have to vote. I was going to vote either way, but I see how other people are definitely affected.”

Jennifer Chen, 33, salesperson, San Francisco, voted at Lakeshore School

“This is the first time I voted because before I didn’t really know anything about everything. Now, I learned about the ballot and how it is important because all the votes count.”

“There is no specific campaign that has influenced me, but in general, social media [helped] and there are a lot of companies that are supporting voting by closing businesses today.”

Leonel Mercado, 21, tech specialist, Daly City, voted at City Hall Vote Center in San Bruno

“I would say my political stance is to vote for people of color and immigrants. I am voting for those that can’t vote, like my parents.”

Megan Chadha, 21, dancer, Union City, voted at Education Service Center

“I’ve heard a lot of people not wanting to vote because they’re either too lazy, their vote won’t make a difference, or they don’t understand the propositions. In my personal opinion, I feel that we should communicate about voting in high school classrooms so that once they turn 18 years old they not only understand the importance of voting but actually understand what can happen if you don’t vote. As for anyone over the age of 18, it’s hard to get them into a classroom. I did notice a lot more celebrities endorse voting this year. I hope it worked a little.”

Eric Samayoa, 23, behavioral therapist, San Leandro

“This election did seem more urgent and important for sure. On both sides of the major political parties we saw large advertising campaigns ‘round the clock and as a young American I saw that my generation has been more vocal in terms of voting. In my opinion this was due in part to the last presidential election and how thing have gone so far under this regime.”

“Personally I think that Election Day should be a national holiday. A major concern for my friends and family was the fact that they could not make it to the polls. Other nations around the world that have a national holiday for elections have been better turnout rates than the U.S.”

Sophia Cunningham, 21, behavioral therapist, Union City, voted at Education Service Center

“There’s definitely a stronger sense of urgency for these midterm elections, and this election especially became important for younger voters. With the current Trump administration focusing on taking rights away from marginalized peoples and targeting and refusing to help people unprotected by society, I’ve seen more people finally understanding that we can’t just sit around and think the election will be just fine, like a lot of younger people thought during the 2016 election. Look what happened with that; a lot of people who I know didn’t vote are eating their words now.”

“Classmates, friends, internet friends, and family members who chose not to vote in the previous election reasoned their decision in a heartbreaking way, in my opinion. They thought that their vote didn’t matter. Now why they felt that way could be because of interactions that had or believed that there was no way a certain someone would be president. To get them to get involved in this election and ones in the future, we need to start by not only telling them but showing people that their voice matters. The only, for lack of a better word, good thing to come from the last election is it serves as an example of how much every vote matters.”

Photo by Cullen Ridgeway.
Melany Swift, 34, homemaker, Walnut Creek, voted at Community of Christ

“Oh my gosh, it’s really important. We need to turn the tides on this one—at least that’s how I feel.”

“The way the government is going right now, we need a little bit of change—actually we need a lot of change. We’ll take what we can get.”

Photo by Cullen Ridgeway.
Barbara Fine, 71, retired, Pleasant Hill, voted at Community of Christ

“I have been consumed and obsessed with politics for the last two-plus years. I have done polling, and calling, and canvassing, and post carding, and protesting.”

Alexandra Moreno, 22, bookstore clerk, San Francisco

“I think I voted because of my parents. My parents don’t have the liberty to vote, so they were like, ‘OK you are our voice, so through you there is stuff we want done.’ At the end of the day I am the future and my children will be the future.”

Astrid Lane Quinn, 22, college student, San Francisco

“I haven’t heard from anyone who hasn’t or doesn’t want to vote. I think the only person I know who didn’t is my brother, and that’s because he’s a minor.”

“Mostly my parents, and teachers and the cast of Queer Eye (influenced my vote). I like to vote at any election possible, though.”

Photo by Parker Johnson via Unsplash.
Nick Allan, 26, college student, San Ramon

“I feel like with what’s happening in this country right now, that I have to act because my rights and the rights of others are being trodden on and we need to act now.”

“Honestly, everyone I’ve talked to is going to vote — some by mail and some locally. The one exception was someone who had missed the window to register.”

Cindy Gerges, 28, Berkeley

“With the current administration a lot of our decisions feel like they are out of our control. Because of that, voting in this election was urgent, so that we can effect change and have a say in what happens in our democracy. The right to vote is a privilege, and not exercising that right would be a disservice.”

She said the get-out-the-vote efforts “didn’t change my decision to vote but it was encouraging to see so many mobilized people. The campaigns made me feel like I was part of something bigger. They motivated me.”

Lorenzo Ramos, 18, college student, San Francisco, voted at San Francisco State University

“I am an adult now and have a lot of responsibility. I can’t be a lazy ass and complain when I have the opportunity to go change the situation.”

Photo by Celine Herrera.
Tobias Roat, 19, San Francisco State University student, San Francisco

“I had a lot of notifications from different apps that I think I wouldn’t do that, like Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter and Tinder — that was the weird one. I also had a really good friend who pushed me and help me (vote).”

Photo by Celine Herrera.
Denisse Verduzco, 18, San Francisco State University student, San Francisco

“I think my friend motivated me (to vote) because she’s a political science major and pushed me to do it. My family doesn’t really vote and once I went to school up here the atmosphere pushed me to do it. Social media also made me want to do it, like Instagram and Snapchat.”

Photo by Anne Lima.
Adrienne Mathieu, 19, student, San Francisco

“I have wanted to vote since I was little so when I turned 18 I was like ‘okay I get to vote next time!’”

“I think social media was really effective this midterm election because our current president has been pretty crazy on social media, so I feel like seeing all that and having people advocate for voting on social media was really important and that personally influenced me a lot.”

Photo by Anne Lima.
George Felix Jr., 19, San Francisco, voted at San Francisco Fire Department Station 19

“For me, it was Twitter that influenced me to vote. I always saw tweets about just going to vote and people would actually make threads about each proposition and who was running and it was really informative.”

Photo by Cullen Ridgeway.
Groves Flemming, 66, executive salesman, Walnut Creek, voted at Community of Christ, Walnut Creek

“Midterm, half term, any term that I can vote, I’m voting.”

“The current administration is running the country into the ground and it’s pathetic, it’s embarrassing and we need to utilize our power to vote to make changes.”

“I mean we have a president that doesn’t believe in global warming. Look at it, it’s November and it’s like summer.”