NewsElection Watch


Young voters have low turnout for primary election

College Democrats and Republicans work to increase turnout
Posted at 6:42 AM, Jun 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-30 09:31:42-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — A closer look at voter turnout numbers don't lie; young people simply aren't voting. Of more than one million ballots cast in this last election, less than fifty thousand of them came from voters under 24.

Despite this dismal turnout, there are young people trying to change that. College Democrats and Republicans are doing their part to encourage young voters to go to the polls.

"To me, voting is just being an American", says co-president of College Democrats at UCCS. She's been civically active for most of her life, but not all young people in El Paso county are like her.

According to the secretary of state's office, just over 49 thousand people age 24 and younger cast their votes in the primary election. A turnout of just two percent of the nearly one point one million ballots counted so far from Tuesday's primary.

But organizations like the college republicans and democrats on campus are working to change that.

In such a polarizing time for our country, these two groups have a lot in common, and want to work together.

"I was always friends with Democrats...we had to be", says Chair of the College Republicans Ramon Reyes.

Dennis Molina, co-president of the College Democrats at UCCS, remarked, "I've made some of my old members a little upset because I've told them I want to work with college republicans"

Not only have both groups met important political figures in Colorado, they have held social events, recruiting events, and even collaborated on debates and discussions together.

And that's just part of the process. Reyes says that voting itself is an extreme action, designed to facilitate change. That's the message they want to spread to encourage other young voters.

Reyes commented, "voting is the civil way to revolt".

They're also trying to bring voter registration drives to campus. They want to try and change the narrative they hear from some of those young voters who believe their voice doesn't make a difference.

"We can't control what the President does, we can't control what the Senate does, we can't control what the House of Representatives does, but you can control your local officials do, and you can control who you elect as your local officials, and what sort of example your state sets", says Ford


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