Turnout of young voters increases

Posted: Sunday, December 17, 2000

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Voter turnout among Alaskans 18 to 24 year old jumped in the November election.

Lt. Gov. Fran Ulmer said 16,889 people in the age group voted in the last presidential election in 1996. Turnout this year was over 25,000, a 48 percent increase.

Ulmer said nearly 47 percent of Alaska's registered 18 to 24 year olds voted in November, compared to 38 percent in the 1996 election.

Ulmer said voter turnout among young people had been declining since the 1994 election. She credits a get-out-the-vote initiative for changing the change.

''I'm pleased to announce that thanks to the effort of many people and organizations that worked with us on Let's Vote! Alaska, we have reversed that trend,'' Ulmer said.

The initiative aimed to educate and excite young people about voting through a variety of projects, including television ads featuring NHL star Scott Gomez and Alaska Native actress Irene Bedard.

The initiative also sent ''how to vote'' brochures to all 2000 high school graduates and sent absentee-by-mail applications to 8,000 student loan recipients.

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