The Hip-Hop Summit Action Network (HSAN) today recognizes and congratulates over 21 million young voters 18-35 who participated in yesterday’s national elections. According to an analysis provided to MTV Network’s “Choose Or Lose” campaign by Circle Research, the young adult vote in 2004 shows a sharp increase when compared to the nearly 18 million 18-30 year old votes cast in the 2000 presidential election. Key battleground states saw a marked increase in young voter turnout with one out of every five voters in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin under the age of 30.
Today’s New York Daily News, in a headline which bellowed, “Young Voters Show Up In Earthshaking Numbers,” wrote, “All you had to do yesterday afternoon was take one look at the long line of voters at the Taylor School on Erie Ave. in North Philadelphia to realize an earthquake had struck America in the middle of the night. It was not so much the avalanche of people streaming into the polls in the largely Hispanic 43rd Ward, in the poorest neighborhood in the city, where politicians have lamented forever that the people just don’t vote. It was also how young so many were, an astonishing number of newly minted voters casting their ballots for the first time.”
The Detroit News reported that Bernie Porn, President of a Michigan polling firm declared, “They came to the polls, and the turnout is the heaviest we’ve had. Both parties now will have to figure out how best to reach younger voters.” The Philadelphia Inquirer in a front page article today quoted Thomas Patterson, author of ‘The Vanishing Voter’ and a professor of government and the press at Harvard University, as saying, “It’s young voters where we’re seeing the surge.” Patterson goes on to say that 14% of voters this year were new voters, compared with about 9% of voters in 2000, and many of those new voters are young people, who have been the least likely to vote in the past.
The Des Moines Register reported in its post election coverage, “Election officials reported brisk turnout by minority voters, people with disabilities and young voters…Secretary of State Chet Culver had declared the turnout an all-time record….”
The Washington Post in today’s election coverage said, “Everyone seemed to care. Activists and poll watchers reported unusually large numbers of new voters, minority voters and – perhaps the most dramatic evidence that this would not be an ordinary election – hordes of young people.”
“Yesterday was one of the most inspiring days of my life,” enthused Russell Simmons, Chairman of HSAN. “I saw young people voting for themselves, internalizing the idea that they know their voice matters and that they have everything to do with that kind of investment in themselves and their future. This is the first step in personal empowerment for young people and I’m proud to be a part of it.” On Election Day, Simmons was in Philadelphia to witness the culmination of the Hip-Hop Team Vote GOTV Bus Tour.
“The aftermath of the 2004 elections presents an environment where young people are challenging the established political order in the most profound and substantive manner,” declared Dr. Benjamin Chavis, President/CEO of HSAN. “The surge in the youth vote is the beginning of a new movement led by young people to transform American society.”
For more information on the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network, go to www.hsan.org.