Youth Vote Sets The Stage For Clean Energy

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On Election Day, millennials (youth, ages 18-29) became the
most powerful voting bloc in the country. Clean energy, climate protection and
green jobs were among their voting criteria according to Power Vote organizers,
a non-partisan Get Out The Vote campaign.

An estimated 22 million millennials turned out to the
polls—3.2 million more than in 2004, according to preliminary findings of the Tufts University Center for Information and
Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE)
. This significant increase in youth engagement
in the political process is the second highest youth voter turnout since 1972,
when the eligible voting age was decreased from 21 to 18.

The Power Vote campaign, organized on more than 300
campuses, generated close to about 350,000 pledges from youth organizers who
committed to vote, and to hold whomever was ultimately elected accountable for
shifting to clean energy and creating millions of new green jobs.

The number of pledges collected equals almost 11 percent of
the total increase in the youth voter turnout leading to the very real
possibility that much of the youth enthusiasm for clean energy translated to an
increase in youth votes.

In the 2008 election, millennials voted in record numbers
because they feel the nation needs a bold new vision for America and the
political leadership to make it happen.

This record turnout is a wake-up call to politicians that
the youth of America has spoken and they want action on clean energy and a cleaner environment. They
made a difference with their votes; they now want to see a difference in how we
as a nation seek solutions to a problem that will influence the world they will

Published: November 17, 2008