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(Updated) Fmr White House Spokesmn & Natl Youth Vote Dir. Bob Weiner Announces Youth Vote Opinion Featured in Wash Post

Robert Weiner

WASHINGTON, DC, UNITED STATES, September 8, 2022 / --
Former Clinton White House spokesman Robert Weiner, who served as the Democratic National Committee and Young Democrats' first youth voter registration director in the Watergate headquarters after the 26th Amendment gave 18 year-olds the vote in 1971 and helped oversee the highest youth vote turnout in any election, just published and featured an opinion in the Washington Post on what it will take in order to drive young voter turnout in the upcoming midterm elections in November.

Weiner begins, "Regarding the August 26 editorial “An investment in democracy”:
Getting the youth vote requires work and identifying key issues."

He continues, "Young people turned out in 1972 with the highest percentage of eligible voters (55 percent). It was the first opportunity for 18- to 21-year-olds to vote since the 26th Amendment was passed in 1971. The main reason for the high turnout was clear: Young people did not want to die in Vietnam, a war they did not understand or believe in."

He writes, "The Democratic National Committee’s national voter registration drive at the famed Watergate headquarters, through the Young Democrats office, did a youth vote campaign of posters, fliers, varied events and news conferences in each state, recruited rock stars as well as state and local organizers everywhere (with charts and lists for follow-up), generated sponsors, and did youth voter registration ads on thousands of targeted radio stations. I remember later DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe asking me, 'How did we do it?' I said, 'It was a lot of work,' and I laid out the specifics. (We had an invited exhibit at the Smithsonian Museum of American History for 30 years after the election)."

He goes on, "As part of the national youth vote effort, we also did a youth vote forum, attended by hundreds of young organizers in Delaware in 1972 for Joe Biden’s first Senate run. The 29-year-old Biden upset two-term senator Caleb Boggs by 3,162 votes, the year’s closest Senate race. The lesson for the upcoming midterm elections is clear."

Weiner concludes, "This year, young people care about climate change with the planet at stake, school gun deaths, abortion choice, student loans, jobs, rent prices escalating, inflation, the survival of our democracy and a lot more. Bringing those issues home requires tremendous effort from both parties."

This version reflects the full text submitted to the Post and differs slightly from the edited version.

The opinion was published in both English and Spanish in The Washington Post.

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