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YVO: Youth Vote Headlines 2011

Universities Can Play a Role in Making Voting Accessible to Students

Robert Brandon for the, November 16, 2011
Young adults under the age of 30 will make up at least 24% of the voting age population in 2012. However, their vote is underrepresented compared to older voters. In 2010, just 22.8% of eligible under-30's voted, compared to an estimated 40.8% of all voters. .....Full Story

State Gets Money to Improve Technology for Military, Overseas Voters, November 11, 2011
New York received a $2.5 million federal grant this week to upgrade its technology to better serve the more than 40,000 overseas and military voters registered in the state. The money will help provide greater online access and automation of tools for voter registration and voting by absentee ballot. ....Full Story

County Receives Voting Grant, November 11, 2011
A consortium of 13 Florida counties, including Sarasota County, has been awarded a $1.6 million grant by the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) to enhance the absentee voting process for military and overseas citizens...Full Story

State, Federal Government Battle Over New York Election Date, November 1, 2011
A lawsuit by the federal government seeking to move up the date of New York's primary elections is premature, state officials said in court documents filed Monday. ...Full Story

Do Millenials Have a Bright Future Ahead?
PolicyMic, October 28, 2011
The report, called State of Young America and set to be released on November 2, examines that very notion by developing a comprehensive economic picture of the newest generation trying to get ahead in America, the Millennials, and comparing them to the prior generations when they were just starting out. As our report details, the reality is indeed that for young people today, it is harder to either work or educate one’s way into the middle class. ....Full Story

Proponents Tout Benefits of Online Voting, but Critics Fret about Vulnerability (Video)
New Britain, October 28, 2011
NEW BRITAIN (Conn.)—Although online voting may be the wave of the future, according to a panel of experts there remains significant obstacles — most notably a lack of security that can make voting susceptible to fraud. Allowing voters to cast their ballots via the Internet has become a controversial topic facing election officials. ....Full Story

Secretary of State's Online Voting Symposium (Luther Weeks), October 28, 2011
NEW BRITAIN (Conn.)—On October 27th, the Secretary of the State, Denise Merrill held an ‘Online Voting Symposium’ at Central Connecticut State University (CCSU) in New Britain. ....Full Story

Online Voting: Security Issues Remain a Hurdle
(Hartford, Conn), October 27, 2011
Allowing citizens to cast ballots online would increase participation in elections and make democracy more accessible. But don't expect to vote on your iPhone in Connecticut anytime soon; the technology just isn't there to ensure secure elections, said several experts ....Full Story

(Harvard University Institute of Politics) IOP Registers "Occupy" Protestors to Vote
the(Harvard), October 24, 2011
About 15 volunteers went to the Dewey Square camp in two shifts, one in the morning and one later in the evening.According to McGowan, members of the IOP were surprised to find that many occupiers were not interested in voting, particularly during the IOP’s morning visit.......Full Story

Missouri Considers Eliminating Primary, October 17, 2011
Randolph County Clerk Will Ellis has sent an email to state Sen. Kurt Schaefer asking him to support a bill to eliminate Missouri’s 2012 Presidential primary election. The state Republican Party has already said it will use a caucus system and not the primary to choose who the state favors for the Presidential nomination.....Full Story

Oregon Ranks Highest Among Youth Voting
Portland State University Vanguard, July 19, 2011
A youth-voting award ceremony was held last Friday, July 15, in Portland's City Hall to recognize the work of student organizations around the state in raising voter awareness and registering a record number of voters.Oregon tallied 37,000 youth signed up to vote, according to a press release. The majority of the masses were registered thanks to the Oregon Student Association (OSA), which registered 35,000 of the voters. [Online story no longer available]

Three Local Leagues [of Women Voters] Recognized for Outstanding Youth Engagement, July 7, 2011
As many elections officials begin preparations for next year’s presidential election, League of Women Voters national president Elisabeth MacNamara today announced the winners of the first-ever Smackdown Your Vote! ® Democracy Award, a nationwide effort to recognize state and local Leagues for their outstanding work to engage and empower young voters. Receiving awards will be the Leagues of Pittsburgh, PA; Houston, TX; and Mobile, AL..[Online story no longer available]

Lincoln County Continues to Correct Voter Registration Issues, July 7, 2011
Lincoln County [West Virginia] has continued the process of purging voter rolls.As part of the process, teens from the Workforce West Virginia Summer Youth Program have the task of addressing envelopes to inactive voters.Those voters are sent a letter saying they can be put on active status again if they vote in the October special election...[Online story no longer available]

Byron v. Hutchinson: the Real Charade of Nonparticipation
PolicyMic (Benjamin Byron), July 7, 2011
"Young people today are failing to vote across the developed world, and I for one celebrate every empty polling booth."  So says my PolicyMic colleague Matthew Hutchinson. For him, it would seem that the key to sweeping transformation of the political environment that induces disillusionment and apathy is nonparticipation. This notion is so wildly counter-intuitive that it is difficult to know where to start. But, I will try anyway.....Full Story

Show Some Love for the 26th Amendment and What's Possible
Color Lines: News for Action, July 5, 2011
Forty years ago today, President Nixon signed the Twenty-sixth Amendment to the constitution, lowering the national voting age from 21 to 18. Adopted in response to the student activism and anti-war attitudes of “The Long 1960s,” the law guaranteed that the young Americans being sent to Vietnam could, in theory, pick up a ballot before they picked up their gun. Since then, what’s become known as the “youth vote” has been a hot topic each election season. People work to study, understand and predict trends in turnout rates among young voters. One thing seems clear: if you want them to care, you’ve got to give them a reason to care. Get them excited and don’t treat them like a novelty....Full Story

Remembering How the Youth Movement Got the Vote
FrumForum, July 2, 2011
The decade of the 1960s was one of the most tumultuous and unsettling in American history. Assassinations, urban riots and college campuses erupting in violent protest roiled the nation. Political turmoil and recriminations divided the citizenry, to the point where many wondered if a total collapse of society and our civic institutions was not only possible, but likely. At the same time, young political activists were working to ensure civil rights and voting rights in the South, while others were engineering the development and growth of the anti-Vietnam War movement. Many were devoting their energies to reforming their own educational experience, and still others were helping generate the environmental and feminist movements that took hold in the 1970s....Full Story

Youth Voices the Right to Vote Across Different Platforms, Across Time
The DePaulia, July 1, 2011
Today celebrates the 40th anniversary of the 26th amendment's ratification, which lowered the voting age from 21 to 18 years old. From the days of Hunter S. Thompson to the modern tweet, discussions about the youth's right to vote can be heard across many different platforms...Full Story

Sounding a Retreat on Voting - blog posting by Bob Hall, Director of Democracy North Carolina
July 1, 2011

By virtue of a truly historic vote of our General Assembly 40 years ago today, on July 1, 1971, North Carolina became the final state needed to ratify the 26th Amendment, which lowered the voting age from 21 to 18.A few days later, at a signing ceremony for the amendment, President Richard Nixon looked around the room of assembled young people and said, "America's new voters, America's young generation, will provide what America needs as we approach our 200th birthday - not just strength and not just wealth but the Spirit of '76, a spirit of moral courage, a spirit of high idealism in which we believe . . . that the American dream can never be fulfilled until every American has an equal chance to fulfill it in his own life."...Full Story

40 Years Ago, 18 Year Olds Got the Right to Vote
The (Lakeland, FL),  June 30, 2011
Forty years ago today the 26th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, giving 18-year-old citizens the right to vote, was ratified.Eleven days later, Lyle Bulman, who had just graduated from Bartow High School, turned 18 and headed to the Supervisor of Elections office to register to vote. "My father had told me that the best way for a young person to make a difference was to vote," Bulman said. "I certainly have always taken it seriously."....Full Story

New Group Wants Millennials to be Power Bloc
(San Jose),  June 13, 2011
The 50 and older crowd has AARP, so why not a new group to advocate for those under age 30 and build their political muscle? Our Time intends to increase its members' consumer power, entrepreneurship and influence as a voting bloc. The organization is drawing on a demographic that's coping with big student loan bills, a rough job market and gaps in health care coverage."We're working to unite us to both drive down costs in the private sector and also spark national conversation about our needs in the public sector," said 25-year-old Matthew Segal, Our Time's president.Segal founded Our Time in March with Jarrett Moreno and James Grant, both 24, after seeing a need to burnish the role and influence of the millennial generation, the children of baby boomers who came of age in the new millennium. Boomers are classified as being born from 1946 to 1964; Gen Xers are considered to have birthdates from 1965 to 1980....Full Story

First Ever Study Finds Majority of States' Voting Systems Failing Young Americans
Rock the Vote,  June 8, 2011
A first-ever Rock the Vote analysis of the 50 states’ voting systems reveals young Americans are being left out of the democratic process because of outdated voter registration practices, barriers encountered when trying to cast a ballot, and our country’s failure to adequately prepare them for active citizenship. The full scorecard and analysis is available here. [T]he Voting System Scorecard serves as a national benchmark that measures states’ laws and policies in three key areas: (1) voter registration, (2) casting a ballot and (3) young voter preparation. The 21-point scale evaluates each state’s implementation of policies that increase access to the political process, including: automatic registration, permanent and portable registration, Same Day Registration, online registration, early voting periods, identification requirements, residency requirements, absentee voting, military and overseas voting, and high school civics curricula and evaluation....Full Story

Non-College Youth Voting in the States
The Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE),  June 6, 2011
In every state, young Americans without college experience – about half of the young population – were much less likely to vote in 2010 than their peers with college experience. Since educational attainment is a good measure of social class, low turnout by youths with no college experience makes our electorate less representative. This, however, doesn’t tell the whole story, since the rates at which 18- to 29-year-old citizens voted varied a great deal from state to state. Young people without college experience living in high-turnout states (North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin for example) were almost as likely to vote as those in low-turnout states  like Indiana and Texas who do have college experience...Full Story

...Should the Voting Age be Lowered to 16?
The Falcon Flyer - Briar Woods High School (Ashburn, VA),  June 1, 2011
There has been much speculation about lowering the voting age to 16 years, and many states have taken it under consideration, however some are still skeptical. There have been numerous debates and protests by political youth activists; however there is yet to be a breakthrough for this issue....Full Story

2010 College Student Voting - Part 1
The Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE),  May 31, 2011
...In April CIRCLE calculated the 2010 youth voter turnout using the newly-released Census Current Population Survey (CPS) data. The analysis included estimates by educational experience, showing dramatic differences. A 16 percentage point gap separates the turnout of those with college experience from those without...The fact that 23% of current students didn’t vote because they were ‘out of town or away from home’ will concern a lot of people, including GOTV groups who work hard to make sure this happens as little as possible. It is also significant that only 12% of 2010 student non-voters did not vote because they were “not interested” since this counters many media portrayals of students, which rarely include political engagement....Full Story

Parties Need to Focus on Winning Voter Allegiance at a Young Age
The Daily Caller,  May 25, 2011

New research out of the U.K. shows that the 9/11 terrorist attacks created a political shift in favor of the Republican Party among young voters who registered in the aftermath of the devastation that has persisted...According to the researchers, this is not the only time in the last ten years an event created a visible political shift among young voters. The most recent such event was the [2008 election]. In this election, according to Pew Research Center, two third of voters ages 18-29 voted for Obama...This compares to 53 percent of the general population. Our analysis suggests that this gap between the Obama ‘youth voters’ and the general population is remarkably persistent over several election cycles. Indeed, our calculations suggest that the 2008 youth vote gap will be a phenomenon affecting US elections for decades to come....Full Story

The New Group of Potential Youth Voters
The Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE), May 17, 2011
In 2010 there were approximately 4,579,000 17-year olds, according to Census data, analyzed by CIRCLE. Divided by 365 days, that means that roughly 12,500 young people turn 18 each day. To put this number into perspective, there were 45.5 million citizens between 18-30 in 2010. This new group of potential voters could make a difference in the 2012 Presidential Election.  A first step, however, is voter registration. Voter registration is often a multi-step process, but giving young people the knowledge on how to register, where to register, and registration deadlines may make registration more accessible. It is a requirement to vote in almost all states (with the exception of North Dakota). If a young person navigates the registration process, research suggests that voter turnout rates are positively related with voter registration rates in Presidential elections (with one exception since 1972). If things continue on this trajectory, breaking down barriers to registration may be a good option in getting the almost-eligible voters engaged in the process as early as possible. Registration does not always lead to higher turnout, though, and is by no means the only step to engage young people in the political process...Full Story

End One-Man/One Vote: Shift to Age-weighted Voting
Ground Report Blog - Author: Paul Sterne, May 15, 2011
One man /one vote is the ultimate sacred cow. But who has not had secret thoughts questioning the idea that everyone’s vote should get equal weight? Is everyone really equally qualified to pick our leaders?...Weighted voting would restore power to twenty and thirty year olds, where it resided before the advent of medical science. With the aid of computers, it would be easy to give everyone a Voting Score, just like we all have a credit score....Full Story

Why Young People Don't Vote
The Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE), May 13, 2011
College students are much more likely to cite being out of town or away from home as the reason they didn’t vote. That make sense: they tend to live away. Their peers who are not in college are somewhat more likely to cite a lack of interest or faith in the impact of their vote. They are also more likely to give miscellaneous “other” reasons...(The full story includes a great chart showing this information in detail.)...Full Story

Impact of Youth Vote Causes Reflection on Campus Activism
The Pendulum - Elon University (NC) Student Newspaper, May 10, 2011
"The dynamic of college can lower the participation of younger voters because it is harder to stay up to speed on issues because there is more of a distance between you and the politics from where you are registered to vote," Giovanello said. ....Full Story

Lexington (KY) Youth Simply Do Not Vote, May 5, 2011
IIn a city heavily populated with college students and youth in general, the youth turnout in Lexington should be large.  However, the youth turnout in the 2010 November general election was miniscule.  Out of the 1,223 registered youth voters in Lexington (age 17-24) only 402 actually voted in the election. For the youth of the area, voting should be a top priority.  In order to get better youth programs, the youth need to have a say in who gets to hold office.  By not voting, the youth have no say in their cities government.....Full Story

Official Youth Turnout Rate in 2010 was 24%
The Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, April 15, 2011
In 2010, as in 2008, young African Americans led the way in youth voter turnout.  Young African Americans voted at a rate of 27.5% compared to 24.9% of young Whites, 17.6% of young Latinos and 17.7% of young Asian Americans. ....Full Story

The 26th Amendment...Giving 18 year olds the Right to Vote,  March 24, 2011
Forty years ago this week, the 26th Amendment to the US Constitution was approved by Congress and proposed to the states for ratification.  In less than four months, 18-year-olds were guaranteed the right to vote when North Carolina made it official on July 1, 1971--the shortest amount of time for any Amendment to be ratified...Full Story

[See Youth Vote Headlines for 2010]