Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Young Voters

The young woman at the Steve & Barry checkout counter was non-verbal until she spotted my Obama Hope bracelet. She anxiously asked where I had gotten it and told me this election will be her first time voting. She was excited about voting and very excited about voting for Obama.

Seeing the youth vote grow by leaps and bounds this election season is fantastic! In the 1972 Presidential election (McGovern-Nixon) I was one of the new 18 year old voters. (Allowing 18 year olds to vote came from the fact that this age group was fighting and getting killed in Vietnam so they should be able to elect their leaders) I was thrilled at the opportunity to have a say in my country's leadership and have been a dedicated voter since. The youth vote was not active for many years and while I'm not sure why, young voters are again actively involved in this important process

The issues facing this country directly impact young voters. Money for college, employment possibilities, gas prices all affect them and they need to choose the President they believe will best solve our current national woes. While I am sure there are young men and women who back John McCain, there seems to be a large percentage of young people who are voting for Barack Obama. In fact, he seems to have inspired a renewed interest in voting among this group and many others. Whatever the outcome of this election, it is gratifying to see more people involved in this right.


Cheryle said...

I'm with you, Holly! The young man at Starbucks yesterday saw my Obama sticker and asked if I had voted yet (we have mail-in ballots in Oregon). I was proud to say "yes," and he told me that he had been to a "voting party" the night before. They all discussed the candidates, the ballot measures, and politics in general, then filled out their ballots. The hostess delivered them all to the ballot box the next morning.

My son and d-i-l are 28 and are more excited about this election than any other in their short voting lives. Obama has energized a whole slew of people - young people, African-Americans, the poor, and lots of others who felt disconnected from the process before now. I only hope the habit of voting stays with them through the years!

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