Election 2022: Omaha groups say student voters will show up to vote next week
The increase in turnout among younger voters isn’t just happening at UNO.
OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - In 2014 if you asked a young, eligible voter on UNO’s campus if they cast a ballot, there’s a good chance they would’ve said no. But things are changing.
In the 2014 midterms, one in four eligible UNO students voted.
In 2018 that doubled to nearly 50%.
In 2020, 72% of eligible UNO students voted.
Elevate Omaha works to encourage civic engagement among young people and works with students.
“Young people are stereotyped as just going to rallies or having cancel culture, but that’s not entirely true,” said Lucia Pedroza-Estrada.
The increase in young voters isn’t just happening at UNO. Across Nebraska, about half of the 18–29-year-olds voted in 2020. A nine-point increase compared to 2016.
And this midterm could be another banner year for young voter participation.
“Yes I plan to vote because I think it’s one of the few ways that we as community members can have an impact on what decisions are made,” said Nicole Partusch, 28 years old.
Local organizations that speak directly with potential voters think that the political climate and hot-button issues will ignite young people to cast their ballots.
“Most of them really just feel passionate about the things going on in the season,” said Candide Santiago with the League of Women Voters of Greater Omaha.
But some of our youngest eligible voters don’t feel equipped to head to the polls.
“Well I don’t plan to vote on Tuesday because I don’t feel ready yet to be involved in the things and vote yet,” said Vivek Mahato, 18 years old.
That’s why local nonpartisan organizations are hoping to combat that reservation and demystify the ballot, holding events to help educate potential voters.
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