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The Arizona Student Vote Coalition, a group comprised of the Arizona Students Association (ASA), Arizona Public Interest Research Group (Arizona PIRG), and the state’s university student governments, held a news conference today to launch their statewide effort to increase youth voter turnout. The event, which took place at the State Capitol, was organized by the student-led coalition to highlight students leading the way in registering and encouraging their peers to vote. Representatives from Arizona Public Interest Research Group (Arizona PIRG) and the Arizona Students Association (ASA) were in attendance, along with the student body presidents from both ASU at the Tempe campus and ASU at the West campus.
Across the country, voter turnout among people aged 18-24 increased 11 percentage points between the 2000 and 2004 elections, while the overall electorate showed only a 4 percentage point increase. In Arizona, the 2004 turnout among 18-24 year-olds increased 17 percentage points over the 2000 elections. This year, the Arizona Student Vote Coalition hopes to increase youth vote turnout over the last midterm election, which was 11% in 2002. “Students really could have an impact on the election. Politicians should see us as a viable constituency,” stated Imran Kirkland, an ASA Board Member and student at ASU West.
Ross Meyer, student body president at ASU at the Tempe campus stated that, “Students need to make sure other students are voting. This year we have a great opportunity to register more students than the state has ever registered, especially here at ASU Tempe. Registering and turning out ASU students to vote can help to ensure that our state makes education a top priority for the next state legislature.”
The Arizona Student Vote Coalition aims to educate and register thousands of Arizona students before the registration deadline of October 9 th at midnight. Additionally, the coalition is working to turnout over 10,000 students to the polls this November. The coalition’s registration efforts are concentrated on reaching students at Northern Arizona University; the University of Arizona; and the Tempe, West, and Polytechnic campuses of Arizona State University.
“Students from across the state formed the Arizona Student Vote Coalition this year to make sure that students—and the issues we care about—receive attention during the 2006 election,” said Isaac Kimes, campaign representative for Arizona PIRG and student at ASU Tempe. The non-partisan coalition is comprised of the Arizona Students’ Association (ASA), the Arizona Public Interest Research Group (Arizona PIRG), and the University student governments.
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