Father of Parkland Student Killed Says, 'Vote Like Your Life Depends on It'

The father of a Parkland student killed during the February 14 school shooting urged Americans to head to the polls and vote like their lives depended on it.

Fred Guttenberg tweeted on Election Day that there were "no excuses" not to vote. Since his daughter Jamie Guttenberg was killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, along with 17 other students and staff members, Guttenberg has become a vocal advocate of gun safety.

"Jen took the dogs to visit Jamie at the cemetery today. Do not let this become your reality. VOTE like your life depends on it. NO EXCUSES!!!" he tweeted on Tuesday afternoon. Guttenberg sent an earlier tweet on Election Day saying he had voted for his daughter "and every other gun violence victim."

Other survivors of the school shooting have advocated for young Americans to head to the polls for the midterm elections. In the nine months since the shooting, survivors have turned into activists who have led marches, school walkouts and voter-registration events.

Jaclyn Corin, one of the founders of the March For Our Lives group, voted along with her father at an early polling site on her 18th birthday. She has also visited a half-dozen cities in the last week to motivate young people to vote, the Associated Press reported.

Fellow survivor Emma Gonzalez traveled to Tallahassee on Monday to encourage voters to cast their ballots. "Our lives are in the hands of the people that we elect," Gonzalez said, according to the Tallahassee Democrat. "Vote in every election like it's your last—because it very well could be."

Gonzalez said that this Election Day "is your chance to be a hero for yourself and everyone you love by casting a ballot and participating in our democratic system."

Matt Deitsch, who left college to help launch March For Our Lives with his younger siblings, Parkland survivors Ryan and Samantha Deitsch, also tweeted to encourage young voters. "Today will have the highest youth turnout in midterms history. Vote for our lives," he wrote.

There has been a surge in young voters according to trends in Florida's early voting. Analysis by University of Florida political science professor Daniel Smith found that of the 124,000 people aged 18 to 29 who voted in person at early polling stations as of Thursday, about one-third did not vote in the 2016 election. Around 50 percent of the new voters were also newly registered, the AP reported.

Voting stickers
‘I Voted’ stickers are ready on Election Day at Powderhorn Park Community Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on November 6. Americans started voting Tuesday in critical midterm elections that mark the first major voter test of President Donald Trump’s controversial presidency, with control of Congress at stake. KEREM YUCEL/AFP/Getty Images
Father of Parkland Student Killed Says, 'Vote Like Your Life Depends on It' | U.S.