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November 16, 2006

The Youth Vote

Our old friend Upski of "Bomb the Suburbs" fame expounds in Mother Jones (via Jeff):

William Upski Wimsatt: Youth Vote Did it for Dems

In 2004, the mainstream media pinned John Kerry's failed presidential bid on youth apathy. Although there were many reasons Kerry lost, low youth voter turnout was not one of them. Four million new voters between 18 and 29 hit the polls in the biggest youth surge since 1972. Over half were African American or Hispanic. The 2004 election marked a demographic watershed, but because of the myth of youth apathy, the moment was largely lost on the media.

In Ohio, young people instigated the 2004 protests that led to Congressional hearings on voter disenfranchisement. This year, after knocking on 50,000 doors in that battleground state, we are organizing a major precinct-level effort to ensure that people who had been handed provisional ballots at their polling places—predominantly young, poor, or of color—had their votes properly counted.

These are not signs of apathy. They are signs of change and renewal. At a time when idealism is no longer expected of young people, young people are voting in increasingly significant numbers, inspired by their peers and their hopes. To newly elected officials, the question to ask is: what will it take to justify young people's continuing faith in electoral politics?

Posted by jsmooth995 at November 16, 2006 2:52 PM

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