Young voters play critical role in election

April 24, 2008 9:29:43 PM PDT
People between the ages of 18 and 24 are showing up at the polls in record-breaking numbers to exercise their political voices.

Young voters have been participating in elections at higher rates since 2000.

They are considered the future, which is the same reason they are encouraged to exercise their right to vote.

"It's just really important to get your voice heard," North Carolina State Graduate Student, Deanna Stewart said.

On Thursday night, some students opted to watch a documentary, told from the youth perspective on the importance of youth voting.

"I'm here to get more involved in politics in our upcoming elections ? to be honest; I'm here to fulfill a credit for one of my classes," NCSU Freshman, Brad Van Natten said.

Be that as it may -- this presidential election really has seen a major surge in youth voter turnout.

The youth vote made for record turnout on Super Tuesday, where more than 3 million eligible citizens under the age of 30 participated.

The youth vote more than tripled in the first nominating contest - the Iowa caucuses. In the Pennsylvania primary, young voters accounted for over 70% of the 218,923 new voters that registered since January.

"If there's a larger demographic of the youth voting, they're more likely to say, ok I do need to pay attention to the things that they're talking about they could determine whether I win or lose," Stewart said.

In North Carolina, nearly 100,000 people have already taken advantage of one-stop early voting.

Board of Elections officials say while the numbers are still coming in, a majority of newly registered voters are young.

"The more often we start to vote, the more they're going to start paying attention to us," Stewart said.


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