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Project Vote's Youth Registration Efforts A Succes

Project Vote News

Project Vote's Youth Registration Efforts a Success

September 18, 2008

A national effort to increase Election Day participation among young voters was a success in Springfield, Mass. this week, according to an abc40 report. The event was organized by Project Youth Vote, a partnership between Project Vote and ACORN, and was only one of dozens that took place nationwide in high schools yesterday, timed to coincide with Constitution and Citizenship Day, the 221st anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution.

The events were designed “to reach out to young voters or non-voters and get them to become voters,” said Hina Sheikh of Springfield ACORN. The civic participation assemblies help inform students about the rights and responsibilities of voting, and also help “give them statistics about what's happening in the United States and why people aren't voting and how important it is to get out.”

"I think there's going to be a lot of change,”said 18-year-old Christopher Rios. “This election, I know a lot more people just registered so it's going to be a lot different.”

Historically, young voters have been underrepresented at the polls. According to a Project Vote report, there are approximately 42 million eligible voters aged 18-29, but only half of those registered to vote in 2006, and only half of the registered youth actually cast a ballot. Youth under 30 made up 20% of the eligible population, but only 10% of the actual electorate. The voting participation gaps grow even wider among African-American and Latino youth, who lag 10% behind Whites in registration rates and 5-6% in voter turnout.

While final numbers have not been tallied, it is estimated that Project Youth Vote assemblies and events yesterday reached several thousand high school students across the country.

“While it's not known how many of these students will actually vote on November 4th,” the abc40 report says of the Springfield event, “just about every one them is registered, and that in itself is a start,” abc40 reports.


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