Students Powered the Vote
We did it. On Tuesday, young people continued what they started four years ago: turning out in record numbers to ensure our voices are heard. The youth vote representing 19 percent of the overall electorate, up from 18 percent in 2008. According to our partners at CIRCLE, "Ohio, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Florida will be states in which young voters were essential to the President's reelection coalition. In those states, if Governor Romney had won half of the youth vote, or if young voters had stayed home entirely, then Romney would have won instead of Obama. Those states represent 80 electoral votes, sufficient to have made Romney the next president."
The Sierra Student Coalition participated in Power Vote, the 2012 youth civic engagement campaign sponsored by Energy Action Coalition. We hired fellows and organizers to work in five states:
Pennsylvania at University of Pittsburgh
- North Carolina at University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
- Georgia at University of Georgia
- Florida at Florida Gulf Coast University & Florida International University
- Illinois at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign
- Maryland at the University of Maryland
Over the course of the past 6 weeks, the Sierra Student Coalition trained 49 volunteers on GOTV tactics, making 3,450 attempts to talk to voters at their doors or on their phones. We were also able to secure 3,917 voter pledges and register 1,214 voters. We are thrilled that our efforts were able to help increase youth voter turnout in some key places throughout the nation. 2012 continued to show that the youth vote is here to stay.
-- Quentin James, National Director of the Sierra Student Coalition