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Massive Voting Turnout Among Young People

More than 20 million young people ages 18-29 voted on November 2, which represents some 4.6 million more voters than in the 2000 election. Similarly, voter turnout among the young increased by almost 10 percent, from 42.3 percent in 2000 to 51.6 percent in 2004. Though there are no numbers as of yet for voters between the ages of 18 to 24, or voters on college campuses, anecdotal evidence points to high turnout among college students. Field organizers for the Feminist Majority Foundation’s Get Out Her Vote Campaign report intense interest in the election and high turnout numbers on campuses across the country. For example, at Iowa State University, nearly half of students voted early, but lines for one of the polling places on campus on Election Day were still an hour long. Lines at polling places around Temple University in Philadelphia were also long, although an estimated 75 percent of the campus had voted by mid-afternoon. In one polling place at the University of Pittsburgh, lines remained long throughout the day, but students, committed to waiting it out, brought along magazines or textbooks to pass the time. “Enthusiastic poll workers passed out slices of pizza while they went down the line explaining how the voting machine worked and informing students of their voting rights,” said Jessica Bearden, FMF campus organizer. “Let us put to rest once and for all the myth that young people do not care about their nation’s future,” said Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority Foundation. LEARN MORE Check out pictures and stories from Get Out Her Vote student activists

Sources:

Feminist Majority Foundation, Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning & Engagement 11/3/04

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