By Roz Brown
The youth vote in American elections always has been elusive, but this year, 63% of Americans age 18-29 say they will “definitely be voting” in the November election. The Harvard Youth Poll shows that number far exceeds the 47% who said the same thing ahead of the 2016 election.
The New Voter Project connected with students on the New México State University campus as part of this week’s National Voter Registration Day. Campus organizer Laney Baehler is helping educate students on how to safely cast a ballot by mail or go to their polling place on November 3. She said students have been consistently enthusiastic.
“We have so many people who have lived through so many experiences and our decision-makers are making decisions for, and we need to be part of that discussion,” Baehler said.
The New Voter Project is trying to get 2,000 students registered to vote in New México before the election, starting with a virtual civic engagement series tonight that allows students to learn more about the process. The project is working on campuses in a dozen states to register students.
Young people turning 18 and becoming eligible to vote, including college students, represent the largest, most diverse generation of voters in the country’s history. And while traditional on-campus outreach has mostly halted, social media is proving effective in mobilizing young people.
New México State University student Mia Tontodonati is helping with the effort.
“I think everyone’s kind of just ready to get out there and make the difference that they want to see, since we do make up the biggest group of potential voters,” Tontodonati said.
Approximately 15 million Americans have turned 18 and become eligible to vote since the 2016 election. To register, college students can go to studentvote.org.
Public News Service – NM
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