Can Young Voters be Stirred from Slumber?: Politics Is Fun, Really...

Patrick Boyle
October 1, 2000

The 2000 election is past but these resources are still relevant. Check out this summary of initiatives to educate youth and young adults about issues and candidates, and get them to vote, compiled by Youth Today. If you've got others to add, post a comment and let us know!


A summary of initiatives to educate youth and young adults about issues and candidates, and get them to vote:

Aspen Institute: Young Voter Initiative investigates
disaffection of young adults in politics and elections, and explores
ways to address that disaffection. The project includes polls and focus
groups of young people, and guiding candidates on how to better reach
them. Funding includes $625,000 over 18 months from Pew Charitable

Medill: Northwestern University School of Journalism's team
of Washington, D.C.-based student reporters working to improve election
coverage of young adults and issues that matter to them. Stories going
mainly to college newspapers and TV stations, but also to more than 100
other news outlets, and appear on their web page. Funded in part with a
$649,000, two-year grant from Pew Charitable Trusts. New site, as of 2009:

MTV: Choose or Lose campaign includes Street Team of
twenty-somethings reporting from around the country on issues,
candidates and the electoral process. Website includes stories from
Street Team.

Project Vote Smart: Effort by the Montana-based Center for
National Independence in Politics tries to "provide young voters with
information on candidates and issues relevant to their own concerns."
Funded largely by $430,000 over two years from Pew Charitable Trusts.

Rock the Vote: Hollywood-based organization, supported by the
entertainment industry, runs national tour of music-filled rallies to
register young people and get them to vote.

Third Millennium: New York-based civic involvement group's
Neglection 2000 project analyzes how campaigns focus of do not focus on
youth, conducts polls about young people and the election, and promotes
more civic involvement among young people. Funded largely through
$230,000 from the Pew Charitable Trusts.

World Wrestling Federation: Has registered more than 40,000
new voters, largely through registration at wrestling matches and
appearances by some of its stars encouraging young people to register.
The website also gives election and voting information.

Youth in Action: Held youth conventions outside Republican
and Democratic conventions in Philadelphia and Los Angeles, where
youths developed Youth Platforms to be distributed to the candidates.
Funded by $325,000 from the Pew Charitable Trusts through Oregon State
University Foundation.

Youth Service America: Community service group trying to get
youths to go from volunteer public service to civic involvement through
voting through polls, seminars for young people, and media attention.
Website offers to send electronic reminders of Election Day.

Youth Vote 2000: Umbrella for coalition of dozens of groups
working for or supporting youth voting efforts. Twenty-two field
offices around the country work to register young people, get them to
vote, and hold youth-oriented debates among state and local candidates.
National office focuses on getting presidential candidates to stage a
youth debate. Funding includes $800,000 over two years from Pew
Charitable Trusts, through the League of Women Voters.


Reprinted with permission from Youth Today, October 2000, p. 41.

©2000 Youth Today. Reprinted with permission from Youth Today. All rights reserved.







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