P. Diddy's Group Will Stay Involved

By | November 7, 2004 at 12:00 AM

New York – P. Diddy’s “Vote or Die!” initiative lives on. Sean “P. Diddy” Combs, who started the group Citizen Change to increase voter turnout among young people for the Nov. 2 presidential election, told The Associated Press the group will continue to be involved in politics.

“This is phase one, step one for us to get people engaged,” said Combs, who celebrated his 35th birthday on Thursday. “I’m trying to set up an infrastructure of empowerment and understanding power.”

The group – with the slogan “Vote or Die!” – enlisted celebrities such as Mary J. Blige, Leonardo DiCaprio and Ben Affleck to boost the youth vote, and in the last days of the campaign, charted a jet to visit swing states.

Exit polls showed fewer than one in 10 voters Tuesday were ages 18 to 24, about the same proportion of the electorate as in 2000. However, since voter turnout was higher overall, more young people actually voted.

“I think it’s obvious that the youth voter turnout increased,” the hip-hop mogul said. “You gotta understand, this community was going backward, it wasn’t going forward. This was a community that was going the other way, getting disinterested. We were effective enough to turn them around.”

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