COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado — Voting-age young adults get a bad reputation as an inconsistent voting block. The group New Era Colorado is trying to change that.
"Everything is new for them," explained spokesman Mike Carter. "A lot of people have been doing the same thing or voting in the same place for years and years and they go to their voter service center and go through the whole routine, but that hasn't been formed yet for young people."
The group has held voter registration drives and get-out-the-vote events on college campuses since 2006. Carter said roughly 6 out of the 7 students they contacted before the 2016 presidential election showed up to vote.
"It really goes to show that when you reach out to young people, address some of the common barriers that people aren't even necessarily talking about that they face, that they do show up," Carter said.
Many colleges and universities switched to virtual lessons during the spring and summer terms. Some are continuing with virtual lessons in the fall.
Carter says his group is reaching out more online these days, buying ads on social media and speaking to classes through a Zoom video conference, when allowed. If a campus allows them to set up a booth, he said they follow strict public health precautions.
"We wear masks, of course, but also the plastic face coverings, and we've got big Plexiglas walls on our tables," Carter said.
Ballots will be mailed to registered voters in Colorado beginning October 9. There are 35 Voter Service and Polling Centers located around El Paso County, and another 35 secure ballot drop boxes as well.