Election Attracting a Younger Crowd

By: Cathleen Moxley Email
By: Cathleen Moxley Email

In past elections, some of the lowest voter turnout has come from the 18-24 age group, but that trend may be changing.

In Washington County, the number of teenage voters has more than doubled since 2004.

"This election is going to change a lot of things and i definitely want a say in that," Jennifer Steed, a Marietta College student, said.

And to make sure that happens, Jennifer is registering to vote for her first time.

"I think we can have a big influence here as college students and high school students," Jakob Loukas, another Marietta College student, said.

An impact that keeps growing, as a group of college students get other students to cast their vote in November.

"I think it's hard for people to take the initiative themselves to get the voter registration, but when you're waiting for lunch anyway and somebody hands it to you, it's easy," Loukas said.

And it's not just their peers that's influencing this age group.

"A lot of the younger generation is reaching out to the advertisements and things like that," Nicole Vanhorne, another Marietta College student, said.

Especially when the advertising is going cyber.

"If you can catch them on-line, that's really a way to encourage that group to get with it. They will respond to that type of advertising," Peggy Byers, director of the Washington County Board of Elections, said.

Web sites like facebook and myspace make it easier for candidates to relate to the younger crowd, but it also let's them know where they stand on issues that affect them the most.

"Abortion and gay marriage and paying for college and social security, and those are the issues that are affecting us right now and will affect us in the future," Steed said.

A future where young people like Jennifer, hope to have their voices heard.


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