Youth vote could impact midterm elections

TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) - The stakes are high heading into tomorrow’s election as Idahoans will elect a new governor, and some wonder if the youth vote could be an unexpected game changer.

KMVT’s Garrett Hottle spoke to students and a political science professor at the College of Southern Idaho on what’s being done to get millennial's to the polls.

“I voted last Friday,” said Victorina Juarez, a student at CSI. “As a first generation voter I think it’s really important to get your voice out there and voting is easier than marching.”

Although young voters show enthusiasm about upcoming elections, they don’t always represent themselves at the polls.

“Typically 18 to 25 is a pretty low turnout gap, even when the students are interested in politics,” said Perri Gardner, a professor of political science. “There could be a lot of challenges for younger people. They are in school, and they have kind of crazier schedules.”

“I think some of them don’t think that their voice matters, or maybe they just don’t have time,”said CSI student Sebastian Telmanes. “But I think most of the time it’s just like my one vote is not going to count towards the one million in Idaho that are voting.”

Despite challenges Gardner said her class is doing what they can to get young people in the voting booth.

“My class has been involved a couple of different ways,” Gardner said. “A few weeks ago we were registering voters in our student union building, and we’ve registered a bunch of people on campus.”

“These issues are going to be with us for the next two years,” said CSI student Shanelle Moffitt . “If you don’t vote, you just shouldn’t have a say.”