Richardson, TX- According to preliminary results provided by local elections officials, turnout at a local student precinct at UT-Dallas increased by 46% percent between the 2008 and 2012.
“Despite the dire predictions of low youth turnout today, young people once again showed that when voter mobilization efforts pay attention to them, they show up on Election day,” said Julia Shomenta, New Voters Project Campaign Coordinator and Junior at the University of Texas-Dallas.
Shomenta and a team of dozens of student leaders of TexPIRG’s New Voters Project at the University of Texas-Dallas spearheaded an intensive voter mobilization drive on campus over the past several week to help register and urge students to the polls on Election Day.
Using scientifically-proven voter outreach and mobilization techniques such as peer-to-peer phonebanks and canvasses, text message outreach and classroom announcements, the campaign made 21,073 vote reminders in the days leading up to the election. They also helped to register 1946 young voters through a combination through an online-voting software application and pavement-pounding with registration forms attached to clipboards.
Creative events such as “Why are you voting” and “Show us your votes” also helped to build buzz on campus and reach thousands more potential voters.
“The best people to urge a young person to the poll is another young person,’ said Shomenta. ‘Our campaign shows definitively that if you pay attention to young voters, they will pay attention to you.’
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