A historic number of young voters are set to turn out during the pivotal Iowa caucuses next month, a new poll finds. And by participating in record numbers, the youth bloc could tilt the results heavily in favor of the leading progressive candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination.
More than a third of eligible Iowa voters between the ages of 18 and 29 said they were "extremely likely" to participate during the Feb. 3 caucuses, a number that would dwarf previous turnout figures, according to researchers at Tufts University's Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement and Suffolk University.
Only an estimated 11 percent of young Iowans turned out for the 2016 caucuses, when both parties had contested primaries. In 2008 and 2012, just 4 percent of young voters participated in the country's first-in-the-nation nominating contest, the researchers said.
The city of Beverly Hills is suing Los Angeles County election officials, claiming that new voting devices are going to confuse voters and hurt the chances of some candidates running in the March 3 county primaries.
The new hand-held touchscreens, which the city admits are an improvement over old voting methods, contain "a severe ballot design flaw, one that threatens the integrity and accuracy of dozens of races in the upcoming consolidated primary election," according to the lawsuit, which was filed this week.
The problem is that the screen shows at most four candidates in a particular race — requiring voters to hit the "more" button to see additional contenders.
Nsé Ufot is executive director of the New Georgia Project and its political arm, the New Georgia Project Action Fund, a voter registration organization founded by Stacey Abrams when she was a Democratic leader in the state House. Ufot emigrated from Nigeria to Atlanta as kid, graduated from the Georgia Institute of Technology and University of Dayton Law School and was previously an executive at Canada's largest faculty union and a lobbyist for the American Association of University Professors. Her answers have been lightly edited for clarity.
What's the tweet-length description of your group?
A nonpartisan civic engagement organization that has helped more than 400,000 Georgians register to vote since its 2014 launch.
Describe your very first civic engagement.
At 14, I served as a page in the Georgia House of Representatives. I shuffled notes between professional and grassroots lobbyists and the legislators I was tasked with supporting.
Progressive groups in Ohio formally launched their effort Wednesday to put before the voters an amendment to the state constitution making voting easier on several fronts.
If ultimately successful, the package would be counted on to boost turnout in one of the nation's most populous political bellwethers starting in 2022.
But first, a coalition of mostly left-leaning groups called Ohioans for Secure and Fair Elections, spearheaded by the state's branch of the American Civil Liberties Union, must collect 443,000 valid signatures by July on a petition asking for the referendum.