They helped to decide the historic presidential election four years ago. Now, many college students are hoping to inspire their peers to keep up that participation, even as the window for new voters closes. Our Lori Chung reports.
ALBANY, N.Y. -- "I’m really excited because this is the first time I get to vote in a presidential election" said Kaylee Pagano, 20, a St. Rose senior.
She has been part of a group of St. Rose students working to get their peers to share that enthusiasm, a job that seems a little harder than it would have been four years ago.
“In some cases they are, and in other cases they just don’t care, which kind of stinks because I think everyone should care,” said Pagano.
"It’s definitely not the same as 2008,” said Kevin Towle, 20, St. Rose junior.
Nevertheless, Phi Alpha Theta Honor Society members said their efforts have helped.
“We were able to register over 75 new voters across about five different states,”added Towle.
The youth vote played a key role in the Obama-McCain race. This election year, the economy dominates the debate, and students are paying attention.
“I want to know if I’m going to be able to find a job," said Pagano.
“I think the job market a lot," agreed Holly Aftel,20, St. Rose junior. "Why am I going to school right now?” In this election she added, “It’s no more games anymore, it really matters.”
And, colleges such as Russell Sage are also working to boost student participation in presidential politics. Dean Sharon Robinson said despite appearances students are engaged.
"They're concerned about the economy. They're incredibly concerned, as they should be, about the debt that they will leave college with, which is just enormous" said Robinson. "That excitement has been replaced with conviction that they need to vote."
But, whether that youth vote actually turns out in force won't be known until November 6th.
Extended voter registration
Albany: 1-9 p.m. at Albany and all town offices
Rensselaer: 2-9 p.m. at all town offices
Schenectady County BOE: 2-9p.m. at multiple offices
Saratoga County BOE: 2-9 p.m. at Ballston Spa BOE Office
Warren County BOE: 2-9 p.m.
Washington County BOE: 2-9 p.m.
Montgomery County BOE: 2-9 p.m. in St. Johnsville, Sprakers, and Amsterdam
Fulton County BOE: 2-9 p.m.
Ulster BOE: Saturday 2-9 p.m.
Sullivan County BOE: 1-9 p.m.
Dutchess County BOE: 2-9 p.m.