In Md., youth vote is energized

March 18, 2010

Paul Rogat Loeb's op-ed on March 15, "To win, Democrats must re-energize the youth vote," was an excellent discussion of the importance of young voters to the 2010 elections. In fact, Democrats need to energize the youth vote to win not just in 2010 but in 2012, 2014 and beyond. By 2015, 33 percent of the electorate with be the millennial generation -- no small number of voters. Fortunately for Democrats, young voters can be reached through a number of media -- phone, text messaging, Facebook, Twitter and an ever-growing number of other social networking tools.

Reaching out to young voters through these means has become standard campaign organizing procedure in Maryland -- and proof that our national and state party are actively reaching out to the youth vote.

Contrary to popular belief, young voters are energized in Maryland, and the state party and candidates here recognize the power of the youth vote and engage us as an active part of the process.

Last month, almost 200 young Democrats gathered at the Young Democrats of Maryland Annual Convention to train and prepare for the upcoming elections. Participants were motivated to not let what happened in Virginia happen here in Maryland. We are excited about the progress made in Maryland and across the country thanks to Democrats over the last four years, and young voters understand that progress on the issues we care about -- health care, the environment, education, civil rights and more takes time. Fortunately, we are ready to work hard in November so we can have a Maryland and country where we can attend affordable schools, raise healthy families and live in clean communities. We are Young Democrats and we are not done yet.

Jake Weissmann and Erin Schurmann

The writers are the president and executive vice-president of the Young Democrats of Maryland.

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