Youth Vote Rate Up, But Not In N.Y.

This story was written by Rachel Smith, Washington Square News
In 20 of the 24 states that voted in Tuesday's presidential primaries, youth voting rates at least doubled.

In New York, they did not.

According to the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, youth voting tripled in Georgia, Missouri and Oklahoma, all winning states for Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) Youth voting quadrupled in Tennessee, where Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) and Gov. Mike Huckabee were declared winners.

But in New York, youth voting rates held steady at the same 12 percent as in 2000, according to the center. Across the state, overall turnout dropped slightly.

Eric Dickson, a politics professor at NYU, said he didn't notice a significant difference in political activity among young people in the city.

"It looked pretty normal," he said, though he said he's been aware of the huge surge in national youth voting rates.

But in interviews with WSN, most NYU students said they voted.

At a party for NYU Students for Barack Obama on Super Tuesday, GSP sophomore Karen Connavino was pumped about her candidate and her peers' role in the election process.

"A lot of people who weren't involved in the political process are getting involved because of him," she said of Obama. "Hopefully we'll get him [elected], and we'll change the world!"

Sitting at a table in the Hayden dining hall, Janet Glazier, a CAS freshman, was incredulous when she found out that a friend didn't vote. "Really? You didn't?" she asked.

But that friend was the only student at the table who didn't cast a ballot.

"I think voting is one of the most important things you can do," said GSP freshman Anna Mullen, who voted at the polling site in Brittany residence hall, where she lives. "If you don't [vote], you don't have a voice and [have] no right to complain."
© 2008 Washington Square News via U-WIRE
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