RICHMOND (WRIC)—There's a push to get more young people—especially college students—to the polls on Election Day this year.
There hasn't been a significant turnout of young voters for off-year elections in recent years. Virginia21, a non-profit organization that tackles a number of political issues, including getting more young voters to the polls, hopes to change that this time around.
Tom Kramer, the executive director of Virginia21, said, "2009 was a really slow year for youth turnout … if you compare registrations, the 2013 numbers to [those in] 2009, some precincts where college towns sit, they're several hundred percent ahead of where they were one year ago."
8News spoke with VCU students on Saturday, to see if more college students are registering to vote.
"Yeah, I'm registered to vote," said VCU student Pascaline Ezouah. "I actually walk around campus actually registering people to vote."
"I think it's really important," junior Brandon Alness said when asked how important it is to get young voters out. "We need to hear our voices heard."
Alness says the lack of commercials and posted signs may have lead to fewer young people voting in off-year elections.
"It's not a big race; it's not the president. It's kind of smaller," he said. "But I think it's just as important. It's more focused on what Virginia needs, as opposed to the whole nation."
In the past three weeks, Kramer says Virginia21 has registered 2,000 people to vote.
"Whether we get a Governor Cuccinelli or a Governor McAuliffe, the number of young people that vote are gonna have a big influence over whether or not they keep our priorities at the top of their priority list," Kramer said.
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