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Voting & Elections 03.18.2024

Common Cause Hire Bolsters Voting & Democracy Program for 2024 Election

With the 2024 primaries underway and the general election fast approaching, Common Cause is pleased to announce Jay Young as its Senior Director of Voting & Democracy. In the newly-created position, he will oversee the organization’s legislative, operational, and legal strategies to advance reforms that allow all Americans to participate in elections and to oppose efforts to restrict voting rights.

Voting & Elections 01.11.2024

Star-Ledger/NY.Com (Op-Ed): It’s time for Newark to include young people in school board elections

With just over 3% participation, Newark’s school board elections could use an infusion of fresh, young energy. Give these students the chance to be heard, and you might be surprised by how much they can do. We encourage the Newark City Council to favorably pass their ordinance to lower the voting age for school board elections, and we can’t wait to see what these students accomplish when they’re given the chance.

Voting & Elections 12.4.2023

New Poll: Majority of Youth Ready to Make an Impact in 2024 Election

“Young people know the power that comes with voting, and they are determined to show up to the polls,” said Alyssa Canty, Common Cause Director of Youth Programs.

Voting & Elections 09.19.2023

Public News Service: Some Maryland Communities Lowering Voting Age to 16

Alyssa Canty, director of youth programs for Common Cause, said young people are often beginning to see the effects of civic policy. "When they're 16- or 17-year-olds, they are starting their first part-time jobs," Canty pointed out. "So they now have income, so they're purchasing things, so they are paying sales tax, but they have no say in what happens to those tax dollars." Canty sees late high school as a good time to engage young people. "Usually around 16, 17 years old, that junior, senior year of high school, that's also when you take your really in-depth civics class, and you learn about how the government works," Canty explained. "It's almost like experimental learning where you get to actually go and cast a ballot." Canty noted as campaigns have spread across the country, they often see young people taking the lead on the issue. "We have seen where young people are energized by this issue," Canty pointed out. "In many places, they're the ones that are on the forefront leading this work because they see themselves as being really impacted by local elections, by their school boards, by their city councils."

Voting & Elections 09.6.2023

NPR: A 25-year-old from a small town leads North Carolina's Democratic Party toward 2024

But to local organizers, like North Carolina-based Vashti Hinton-Smith from the left-leaning group Common Cause, this is an ongoing, long and hard fight. "I do wonder sometimes if it's too late," said Hinton-Smith, who runs Common Cause's civic engagement program at HBCUs within the state. Though she agrees with Clayton's youth outreach plan and remains cautiously optimistic, she said politicians need to play the long game in order to make change, which may require less focus on wins right now. "Let's also look four more years past," Hinton-Smith said, referring to the 2028 election. "What does that look like? How do we prepare for that?"

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