For Immediate Release
Youth Turn Out in Record Numbers to Vote, Lay the Foundation for a Clean Energy Future
WASHINGTON - Hope for a stronger economy, clean energy, green jobs, and improved health and security for our nation drove youth voters to the polls in record numbers on November 4. Preliminary CIRCLE projections show show the turnout for young Americans (ages 18-29) is higher than in 2004, a year of significant increase, and is much higher than it was in 2000 and 1996. About 22-24 million young Americans voted with exit polls suggesting historic increases in the youth vote precinct by precinct, as young people stepped up and into the political stage to demand real solutions to our current economic, environmental, and energy crises.
Over the last two months, the national, non-partisan Power Vote campaign mobilized a large, diverse base of young people committed to making a clean energy economy a defining issue in the election. Power Vote ran active Get Out the Vote campaigns on over 300 campuses and communities in nearly every state, directly communicating with millions of young voters. Over 350,000 young voters pledged to vote and hold those elected accountable moving forward. In many precincts where Power Vote was active, the youth voter turnout increased by at least 50%.
"In the 2008 election, our generation voted in record numbers because we need a bold new vision for America, and we need political leadership to make it happen," said Jessy Tolkan, the Executive Director of the Energy Action Coalition's Power Vote campaign. "We defied the odds and the naysayers that said we wouldn't turnout, and now we are going to show them that we mean business. As hard as we worked to mobilize young voters these past few months, we will work even harder to make sure politicians enact our vision by invest in a clean energy economy and putting us the pathway towards 100% clean, just energy."
In the next days, weeks, months, and years young people will put sustained pressure on their elected representatives to create millions of green jobs, invest in 100% clean energy, and enact sane climate policy. On November 18, young people will visit their representatives in every district to clearly define what political leadership looks like on these issues. In December, a youth delegation will travel to Poland and participate in making the U.S. a respected global partner in the fight against climate change. In the first 100 days of the new administration over 10,000 young people are expected to convene in Washington, DC 3-days of training and action called Power Shift.
Power Vote was the most recent collaborative campaign of the Energy Action Coalition. Energy Action is a coalition of 49 organizations working to build a powerful youth movement for clean and just energy in the United States and Canada. For more information please visit www.PowerVote.org.