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Otterbein Students Seek to Close the 18-24 Voter Gap

October 9, 2012

Center for Community Engagement engages in
effort to mobilize youth to vote

Westerville, OH – Otterbein students are seeking to top the 2008 youth voter turnout rates this year as part of a statewide initiative to encourage students on Ohio campuses to register to vote and come out to the polls this November.

Turnout among voters aged 18-24 rose to 51 percent in 2008, an increase of two percentage points from the 2004 Presidential election, according to civicyouth.org. However, youth voter turnout still lags behind turnout of voters over 30.

Campuses across the country and the state are seeking to challenge this trend and Otterbein is at the forefront of this movement through its on-campus activities.

A presidential election town hall meeting coordinated by students in the Senior Year Experience and Freshmen Year Seminar classes and the Leadership Living-Learning Community, brought students together to discuss the issues on Oct. 3 before the campus viewing of the first presidential debate.

All four of the presidential debates will be televised in the Campus Center with a panel of experts to answer questions and help make the issues discussed more tangible to Otterbein students and the Westerville community. Additionally, Otterbein students will be working register other students to vote.

Otterbein received a grant of $1,000 from Ohio Campus Compact’s (OCC) Campus Election Engagement Project (CEEP) to defray costs of this project in order to help engage young voters. OCC is a nonprofit network of 47 member campuses across the state that seeks to involve students, faculty, and staff in service-learning and civic engagement in order to educate, prepare tomorrow’s leaders and contribute to the quality of life in America’s communities. OCC’s Campus Election Engagement Project supports and links campus voter mobilization efforts around the state by providing valuable resources and tools to help student leaders, faculty and staff educate and empower students to vote and actively engage in America’s democracy.

For more information about Otterbein’s voter awareness efforts, contact Leslie Cavin at lcavin@otterbein.edu. For more information on the Campus Election Engagement Project, contact Project Director Brenna Limbrick at blimbrick@ohiocampuscompact.org or 740.587.6366 or visit ohiocampuscompact.org and click on Programs.

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