An Iowa State University professor says there’s a myth out there about the “youth” vote. “Despite what you may have heard in the media, young voters did turn out in record numbers in 2004,” says Dianne Bystrom, an Iowa State University political science professor. Secretary of State Chet Culver, the state’s commissioner of elections, says the numbers back up Bystrom’s claim that more young people are getting involved in politics. He says there was a 100 percent increase in the number of 18-to 24 year olds who voted from 1996 to 2004. There was also a 100 percent increase in the number of 18-to-24 year olds who attended an Iowa Caucus in January of 2004 compared to the Caucuses of 2000. Bystrom heads ISU’s Center for Women in Politics which was created in honor of Iowa native Carrie Chapman Catt, a leader in the drive to get women the right to vote. The Catt Center was established in 1992 and Bystrom says it’s dedicated to engaging voters in the political process and not just women voters, but young voters, too. Bystrom says the Catt Center will be involved in a statewide effort this year to tell young people the story of how minorities and women had to fight to get the right to vote. The 19th Amendment which gave women in the U-S the right to vote was passed 85 years ago. The Voting Rights Act which sought to end rules that kept blacks from voting was passed 40 years ago.
You are here: / / Youth vote up 100 percent from ’96 to ’04