Young Voters Speaking Out

By WEEK Producer

October 22, 2010 Updated Oct 22, 2010 at 10:45 PM CDT

They're known as Millennial Generation.

And this week, they've got President Obama hitting the road, asking for their vote.

In 2008 57% of those under the age of 30 who were registered voted.

This year, political analysts say only about 25% plan to vote.

That's something local political groups are working to change.

"We registered about 400 voters on campus, and we had a couple candidates come to Bradley," said Bobby Nightengale, of Bradley University's College Democrats.

"The candidates have really been working these last few elections especially on facebook and twitter," said Zach Oyler, of Young Republicans, Peoria County.

And, locally, it seems their efforts may be working.

In Peoria County, the total number of registered voters are down from 2008.

But, there are about 5,000 more registered voters under the age of 30.

Political analysts say the secret behind getting young people to the polls lies in pinpointing the issues they value.

"Obviously education being on a college campus. I want to see what every candidate has to say," said Clint Boone, 19 years old.

"I think 'don't Ask Don't Tell' is really important. I was kind of upset with what's recently happened with that," said Tricia Anklan, 20 years old.

"Green issues. So even like at the local level, I'd really like to see some changes," said Janice Gerlach, 21 years old.

In the end, local young political groups say the aim for many candidates should be relatability.

"Older candidates need to focus on social media," commented Nightengale.

"Somebody like Aaron Schock can definitely relate to college age individuals," said Oyler.

In other words, take a page from the history books that young voters found so appealing in '08.

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