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The youth vote is a political term used primarily in the United States to describe 18 to 29-year-olds and their voting habits.

The term "Youth Vote" goes back to the 1930s, when low-income rural and urban young people in the United States were first mobilized to vote in blocs by the youth activism movement.[citation needed] Their issues were largely related to joblessness, homelessness, education, and guaranteed income.[citation needed]

While youth were alternately activated and suppressed[citation needed] in their voting habits through the 1950s, the early 1960s saw a renewed interest in encouraging young peoples' progressive voting habits. When Students for a Democratic Society put out a global call to action for youth via the Port Huron Statement, millions of youth around the world reacted.[citation needed] A variety of youth voting efforts sprung up across Europe, Asia, South America, and Africa. The United States experienced a massive upsurge in youth civic action of all sorts, with a particular emphasis on the youth vote.[citation needed] A variety of organizations, including the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, the Black Panthers, the Young Lords, and Youth Liberation of Ann Arbor each worked to encourage young people to vote together and for common issues.

The number of young voters in the 2008 US presidential election has tripled, even quadrupled in some states compared to the 2004 elections.[1] In his Time Magazine article "why Young Voters Care Again" David Von Drehle reports that "Obama drew more under-30 voters than all Republican candidates combined in South Carolina." [2] Therefore, not only are more young voters turning out to vote, but many of them are voting for Obama. [3]

New technology, the internet especially is making it easier for candidates to reach the youth and, in turn, more young people are voting. [4] Websites such as Facebook and Youtube not only allow students who don't subscribe to newspapers or watch the evening news stay on top of the polls, but also allows them to share their excitement over the polls and candidates. [4]

Today, a number of organizations proclaim their commitment to garnering the youth voice. They include Rock the Vote, League of Young Voters, 18 in '08, Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE), Declare Yourself, Young Voter PAC, WWE Smackdown Your Vote, the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG), Headcount and YouthVote USA.

A 2008 poll has concluded a possible dramatic drop by young voters in the 2008 Canadian election. The poll found that only about 50% of respondents would vote. This was down from the 2006 Canadian election in which 57% of youths voted.[5]


See also



  1. ^ Harris, Chris. "Super Tuesday Youth Voter Turnout Triples, Quadruples in Some States." retrieved 6 Feb 2008.
  2. ^ Von Drehle, David. "Why Young Voters Care Again." Time Magazine. Feb 2008:34-48.
  3. ^ Von Drehle, David. "Why Young Voters Care Again." Time Magazine. Feb 2008. 34-48
  4. ^ a b Von Drehle, David. "Why Young Voters Care Again." Time Magazine. Feb 2008:34-48
  5. ^ "Dramatic drop in youth voting, institute warns". CTV News. Retrieved 2008-10-01. 

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