MTV has never run a political campaign advertisement.
This is just one example of how young voters are ignored, and
one idea that Josie Rodberg, CSU campus organizer for the New
Voter’s Project, hopes to change.
“The 18-to-24-year old voters are never talked to by
politicians,” Rodberg said. “Politicians don’t think it is worth
their money to run campaigns on networks that cater to young
people, like MTV.”
Yet, the New Voter’s Project has been created to do just
The New Voter’s Project, the largest grassroots youth voter
mobilization campaign in history, is targeting six states
nationwide to register a total of 300,000 young voters, including
7,500 new voters at CSU by the Nov. 2 presidential elections.
“We are planning this one-time, huge grassroots effort with hope
that policy makers will recognize young people as potential
voters,” Rodberg said.
The New Voter’s Project is a non-profit, non-partisan
organization that has received major financing from various groups
such as the Center for Public Interest Research, State Public
Interest Research Groups and Pew Charitable Trusts.
They are also supported by members of both major political
parties and have partnered with leading media and cultural groups,
as well as colleges and universities, to reach the utmost number of
Beth Uselton, CSU campus director for the New Voter’s Project,
said that in order to register 7,500 new voters at CSU the project
will build coalitions with existing campus organizations.
“Our hope is to build coalitions with student groups that are
already in place on campus and that those organizations will be the
leaders,” Uselton said. “We want to be the binding force that
brings them together.”
The non-partisan voter mobilization campaign is aiming to
contact every student on the CSU campus at least twice before the
November presidential elections, to urge them to not only register
to vote but also to show up at the polls on election day.
Krista Braton, a sophomore English major, recently registered to
vote and believes that the New Voter’s Project is a good way to
attract new student voters.
“I think for me the worst part about registering was not really
knowing where to go or how to do it,” Braton said. “I think that a
lot of people will take advantage of being able to register on
Although some students believe that voting is essential, the New
Voter’s Project will have to convince other students, like Jamie
Smith, that voting is a worthwhile pursuit.
“Personally, I don’t think that it’s important,” said Smith, a
junior biology major. “I’m not really interested in politics, so I
don’t really pay attention to what’s going on.”
The New Voter’s Project will initially target young people at
Colorado universities and then move into the community to register
non-students in Fort Collins.
“Through this campaign we are hoping that young people will be
heard politically,” Uselton said. “We want to make sure that young
people have a voice in American politics long after we’re
Nathaniel Jackson, a freshman civil engineering major, believes
that the New Voter’s Project’s will give students the opportunity
to become more civically engaged rather than simply criticize
“Voice your opinion because if you don’t you won’t make a
difference,” Jackson said. “One vote can change the outcome and if
everyone thinks that their vote doesn’t count, then the people’s
opinion won’t actually be representative.”