September 23, 2005
Secretary of State stresses to students
importance of voting
"You'll run into people who will say that their vote doesn't matter. But it does make a difference. We've all seen close elections decided by a few votes," said McPherson.
The students from several CSU campuses in Northern California were attending a daylong session on how to get students to vote.
McPherson said that when a person registers to vote they become more invested in the community and in general. He added that is important for young people to vote, not only for themselves but for the state and the nation.
McPherson said that the student leaders could be especially persuasive in increasing the voter registration rate among 18-to 24-year-olds. He said that only about half of the young adults in that group are registered to vote. "Your peers are going to listen to you and you can emphasize the value and importance of their vote and its importance for our democracy," said McPherson.
McPherson urged the student leaders to tap into issues that young people care about to get them to vote. "They can ask candidates how they feel about those issues," he said "This can show people that their votes do matter."
He added that increased voting by young people can also help make the state more representative of the people who live here.
The training was sponsored by Associated Students Office of Government Affairs and the California State Student Association. In addition to voter registration, sessions covered topics such as handling non-partisan voter information and getting out the student vote on Election Day, Nov. 8.
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