Preliminary analyses indicate that young voters turned out in high numbers on Tuesday. Early estimates indicate that between 21.6 million and 23.9 million young people between 18 and 29 voted, according to CIRCLE. Since 2004, at least a 2.2 million more young people turned out to vote. According to Rock the Vote the 2008 youth turnout could be the highest since 1972, when the voting age was lowered to 18.
The Feminist Majority Foundation's Get Out Her Vote (GOHV) campaign was an effort that contributed to getting out the youth vote. GOHV targeted students at college campuses nationwide specifically in states with key feminist ballot measures like California, South Dakota, and Colorado. Teams of student organizers rallied their peers to register to vote and engage themselves in the political process. In Colorado Springs, facing anti-abortion and anti-affirmative action ballot measures, Colorado College students organized a 500 student march to the polls and passed out FMF "No on 46 & 48" literature.
Circle Director Peter Levine said that "From a non-partisan perspective, it is heartening to see young people so motivated and engaged in a national election. Young Americans are also involved in community service at record rates. We must build on the momentum from this election to find ways to keep them civically engaged. It is also critical that those who did not vote for Barack Obama, or who did not vote at all, will feel included in politics, government, and community affairs."
Media Resources: CIRCLE 11/5/08; Rock the Vote 11/5/08; Feminist Majority Foundation