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#WalkOutToVote: Harnessing Demand for Change, Youth-Led Alliance Set to Bring Power to Polls

Organizers including March for Our Lives students planned hundreds of walkouts at schools nationwide for Tuesday's midterm election

Andrea Germanos

 Walkout to Vote banner image from Future Coalition (Image: Future Coalition)

With their sights set on making sure Tuesday's midterm election sends "a bold message to politicians and the country," the youth-led Future Coalition—an alliance that includes March For Our Lives and National School Walkout—has organized hundreds of walkouts at high schools and colleges across the nation for Nov. 6 to make sure young people get to the polls in record numbers.

"We refuse to let our government degrade, deprive of dignity, or dehumanize our fellow human beings," said Jaysa Harrison of the Youth Empower Coalition, another coalition member. "We refuse to be relegated to the shadows. We will continue to speak out and lift up those who would be silenced. And, we will wield our power through direct action in our communities, and at the ballot box on November 6th."

On Election Day at 10am local time, a call-to-action explains,

students in high schools and colleges across the country will walk out of class and march to the polls to cheer each other on as those eligible cast their votes. By bringing together young people across communities, issues, and organizations, we will ensure young people show up to the polls in record numbers and send a bold message to politicians and the country that young people are unified in our demand for change. Even if students aren't old enough to vote, they are still encouraged to lead and participate in the walkout to help make our message heard.

Senior Jaclyn Corin, one of the founders of the March For Our Lives, frames Election Day as "kind of the culmination of everything we've been working for," while felllow co-founder Matt Deitsch says it's more of a starting point. "We're running a really good race but there's really so much work to do."

The youthful activists have already been quite busy.

 Among other actions, throughout the summer and into fall March for Our Lives students have been taking part in the Road to Change, a tour making pit-stops in dozens of states and scores of communities across the country.

The goal of the tour is "to get young people educated, registered, and motivated to vote." They say the massive March For Our Lives rallies "showed our politicians that we refuse to accept gun violence as an unsolvable issue. Now, we're turning our energy into action."

In a video from NowThis, Future Coalition organizer Katie Eder explains, "We're the only age group where...the results of this midterm election are going to affect us in 60 years, and we want to make sure that we're safe, and that we're free and that our children are safe and free from climate change, from gun violence."

Students looking to find a locations of walkouts can find them here.

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