In an effort to get young people to vote, political organizers have gotten Snoop Dogg to launch a bus campaign, donned monster costumes while going door-to-door on Halloween and put out the word on MySpace. President Obama helped the cause by attracting a surge of youthful support in 2008. But the blip is over. The most recent election results in this state show a pitiful number of young--or even semi-young-- people voting.
To be exact, people under 35 represented just 10 percent of statewide voters in the just-passed primary, according to figures released by the Secretary of State's office yesterday. King County--home to numerous hipsters and The Washington Bus, a Seattle-based organization trying to energize young voters around the state--didn't do much better. Twelve percent of the county's primary voters were under 35.
Washington Bus executive director and onetime City Council candidate Thomas Goldstein insists the numbers are no big deal. They came from a primary, he stresses, one that had "nothing interesting for any young person." (Well, unless they cared about who was on the state Supreme Court.)
Goldstein says Washington Bus is saving its money and energy for the general election and thinks big draws will include, Initiative 1098, which would establish an income tax for the rich, and Referendum 52, which would retrofit public schools in ways that save energy. Goldstein concedes he's not young himself but hangs up the phone when asked his age.