Former Vice President Joe Biden may have walked away from Democratic Super Tuesday races with the most victories, but Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders walked away with a big win in the state of California, in part, thanks to younger voters.       

Carolyn Dewitt, president of Rock the Vote, a non-profit focused on building the political power of the younger generation, told Cheddar Wednesday that the voting bloc has been flexing their civic muscles in some localities this primary season.

"We heard stories of young people in Austin waiting two to three hours in line to vote and not having made up their mind, which shows us a real dedication to the process and making sure their voice is heard," said Dewitt. 

Sanders has been pulling in a large proportion of the youth vote and Dewitt says it has to do with his ability to speak directly to the demographic. 

"When candidates do invest in speaking to younger voters about issues they're passionate about, with bold visions to address those issues, young people show up," she said. 

Many other states didn't see the same young-voter turnout that powerhouse California did, though and Dewitt says voter suppression is a reality in some of those areas.

"One of the realities we are facing among young voters, in particular, is since the surge of youth voting in 2018 during the midterm elections there have been several states where there has been a very concentrated effort in trying to limit and suppress the youth vote," she said.

Those efforts include voter ID laws that can currently be found in 35 states which require voters to have an acceptable form of photo identification in order to cast their ballots in person. Some of those states accept student IDs issued by colleges and universities, while other states do not. 

As the Democratic Party whittles down the candidate field, DeWitt says Biden will need to focus on winning over younger voters if, indeed, he gets the nomination. 

"I do think that if Biden ends up being the nominee he is going to have to do some work to court younger voters. He might do himself a favor by picking a vice-presidential candidate who will be attractive, who is going to represent young people and the real demographics of this country," she said.

DeWitt says the newest generation of voters are different than those of the past: they are more progressive and more focused on the issues, rather than signing on to a specific party line.

 "Young voters are less likely to align with either party Democratic or Republican, they're really looking at redefining what political parties and what the political spectrum looks like," she said.

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