Exit polls report increase in NY youth vote turnout

Early exit polls have indicated a higher turn out of youth voters in New York for this year’s election than in the 2004 election.

According to CNN.com exit polls, of the 1,594 respondents in New York surveyed after casting their vote, 22 percent were between the ages of 18-29. In 2004, 17 percent of 1,452 voters were 18-29 years old.

Nationally, the youth vote for the last two elections have been much closer. CNN.com exit polls report 18 percent of 17,834 voters from across the country were between the ages of 18-29 for the 2008 while 17 percent out of 13,660 respondents in 2004.

On Election Day, St. John’s students said they were anticipating more youth participation in this year’s election compared to the past.

“I think there’s going to be a strong turnout of young people because of all the emphasis placed on advertisement to reach out to them,” said Christina Piracchi, a law school student. “You can’t go on the Internet without seeing something geared toward, not just the election, but to vote.”

Jamie Bunyan, a third year law student, said the lines for the polls where she voted were “over three blocks long” when she went to cast her vote around 9 a.m. However, she said she was amazed by the dedication shown by people hoping to take part in this year’s election.

“I was more impressed by the number of people waiting and not complaining about the lines and deciding not to go back home,” she said.

Some first-time student voters, like freshman Esha Akter, said they felt gratified in making their voices heard.

“It was exciting,” she said about her voting experience. “It’s such an important election and voting made me feel important.”
Other students said they believed the youth vote could affect the overall results.

“Our vote might make the difference,” said freshman Layne Roberts, another first-time voter. “If you don’t vote, you’re missing out on making a choice.”