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Organizations race to register eligible voters ahead of midterms

Election 2022 Party Switchers
Posted at 4:18 PM, Sep 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-20 18:18:24-04

One of the safest bets in politics is that young people don't show up. That's especially true in the midterms when participation among younger voters trails significantly behind older generations. 

"We have to start saying every election is important. And that's why we do the work that we do because we want folks to understand that it's each and every election, not just the general, not just the midterms, it's every election," said Stephanie Young, executive director of When We All Vote.  

So, what does it take to get young voters to fill out a ballot? Stephanie Young from When We All Vote says it's as simple as asking.  

"Especially with young people, they say, 'Oh, I didn't vote because nobody asked me to,'" said Young. 

Former First Lady Michelle Obama started When We All Vote in 2018 with the goal of trying to meet voters where they are and make the voting process less intimidating.  

"Sometimes we look to Mrs. Obama or big celebrities or other voices and think, 'Okay, well, you know, if they can't get people to move, then I can't.' And actually, that's the wrong thought. You are the best influencer for the people that are in your life, the people that you work with, go to church with, go to school with, go to synagogue, mosque, whoever. You influence them," said Young. 

That idea of meeting voters where they are can lead to unexpected partnerships. This year, When We All Vote is working with BLK — a dating app for black singles that are popular with people aged 18-24.   

"It was really those young voters, those first-time voters where we can actually help them, encourage them to at least get education and information about voting to really like shift the culture and make a positive impact on the community,” said Jonathan Kirkland, the head of brand and marketing at BLK.  

National Voter Registration Day was first recognized in 2012 and has helped over 4.7 million people register to vote over the past decade.  

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