The best way to reverse that trend is to prove to young voters that their vote counts, says Peter Levine, the Lincoln Filene Professor of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Tufts University.
Institutional barriers, like the recent spate of new voter ID laws, also work against this group of voters.
“And that means the interests of young voters, especially the non-college-bound and high school leavers, don’t get considered.
The issues that could benefit them, like job training, won’t get a serious mention [in political campaigns], and that’s because they don’t vote.” In some communities, however, educators, voter advocates and youth themselves are trying to change this trend by reaching out to reluctant voters and coaching them to get in the game. ’ Then we discuss how voting can influence those issues.” Porter, 21, credits Chicago Votes with converting him from a nonvoter into a believer in the power of politics as a force for change.
Preregistration, currently in place in 12 states, allows youth to register to vote in their mid-teens, perhaps when they apply for a driver’s license.
Their names are then automatically added to the voter rolls once they turn 18.