Date of Award

4-17-2008

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Political Science

First Advisor

Dr. Michael Binford - Chair

Second Advisor

Dr. Scott Graves

Third Advisor

Dr. Richard Engstrom

Abstract

In 2004, the clothing retailer Urban Outfitters sold a t-shirt with the slogan, “Voting is for Old People”. Did Urban Outfitters step over the line, or were they a reflection of the sate of our democracy and the demographics of current voters? Many organizations have developed to combat the problem of low youth voter turnout and disengagement. One of the most well-known organizations is Rock the Vote. In its 18 year existence, has youth turnout increased? Have their efforts been futile or on the other side, have they been successful in paving the way for the youth to demand attention from the government and be heard? The purpose of this research is to measure the effects of the efforts targeted toward youth voters over the past 18 years, in terms of voter turnout using American National Election Studies Data. The results show that voting is not just for old people.

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