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The 2012 election was the first major election in which I could vote. I had turned 19, and I was in my third month as a freshman at Tufts University in Massachusetts. A very politically active campus, the atmosphere was charged in anticipation for Election Day. Excited about learning more about elections, I joined groups on campus that registered students to vote.
Voting for the first time made me appreciate the political process even more. It was also the first election for many of my peers. I helped register many voters for the first time, and I helped those who had already registered but had moved update their voter registration records. The goal was to register as many students as possible, so that they could participate in the political process. Research shows that registering voters at college campuses produces great results. According to the Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE), 1 in 10 young people register to vote at a school or place of education.
I helped register voters on my college campus because I believe the voices and opinions of young people matter, and we bring important ideas and perspectives to our national dialogue. As young adults, we should be at the frontlines in helping decide the path of our country if we’re going to make the future our own. This belief is what led to me apply to intern with the League of Women Voters this summer, where I’ve been able to interact with my fellow interns and the LWVUS staff, who share my passion.
Voting is a habit – one that research shows is powerfully inspired by personal contact – and political participation should be a lifestyle. There are students and young adults like me out there who want to be heard. Help us strengthen our electorate by registering to vote and encouraging the young people you know to register to vote today.
Election Day 2014 is coming! Now is the time to remind the young people you know to visit VOTE411.org to register to vote, make sure that their voter registration record is up-to-date and learn about important voting rules and deadlines in their state. With your help, we’re Making Democracy Work® by making sure our youngest voters have a voice on the issues that are most important to them.