Secretary of State Encourages Students to Vote

6:05 PM, Sep 18, 2012   |    comments
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Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp visited students at Central High School in Macon Tuesday, hoping to inform them on how to register to vote.

"What I want to do is educate our citizens and our young people that they do have this opportunity. They should take advantage of it, it's very easy to do and that's what we're doing today," Kemp said.

In addition to explaining the importance, Kemp brought voter registration forms and explains Georgia's ID law, which requires voters to bring a driver's license, military ID, or other form of government issued ID with them when they vote.

Georgia is one of five states which has what the National Conference of State Legislatures classifies as a "strict ID law," along with Tennessee, Indiana, Kansas and Pennsylvania. The laws have caused controversy, and in some states, they have been banned by the Justice Department for discriminating against groups such as minorities, elderly, and the disabled who might not have an ID.

In 2008, President Obama won around two-thirds of the youth vote when he was elected.  In Georgia, despite McCain winning the state by 5%, he only won the 18-29 vote by 3%, and Obama won the state's 30-44 vote by 12%.

13WMAZ stopped by Macon State College to see how young voters were leaning in 2012.  Nearly everyone we spoke with was an Obama supporter or leaning towards Obama, and a few others were either undecided or did not plan on voting.

Republican volunteer Ralph Oppy acknowledged that his party has had trouble connecting with younger voters, and said he thinks younger voters might be trending more Democratic because they attend colleges with liberal professors, or are trying to be contrary to their parents' political views.

But regardless of who they're supporting this time around, students at Central High seem to be engaged in the process.  "I would say that it's our future at stake, so whichever candidate you elect is going to directly affect our lives," says Central High senior Christine Okaro, who will cast her first ballot in 2012.

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