2012 election season sees a decline in young voter registration - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

2012 election season sees a decline in young voter registration

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ROCKFORD (WREX) -

There's a lot of hype surrounding the upcoming election in november, but younger voters here are losing interest.

"I'm eligible. I haven't signed up to vote," says Alvin Holliman, a freshman at Rockford College.

410. That's the number of voters under the age of 25 that have registered to vote so far in Rockford. According to the City of Rockford Board of Elections, that's down from the nearly 2,700 that were registered 6 months before the 2008 election.

"Some of it may just be that there's not as much attention being paid to Illinois this election season, because we don't appear to be a swing state," says Ken Harper, the Executive Director at the City of Rockford Board of Elections. "A lot of resources that are usually in this state are probably in Iowa or Wisconsin because of how tight the races are there."

Rockford College students say the Obama fever that was present in 2008 isn't at the same level this time around.

Elizabeth tidei (tee-day) (Rockford college nursing student)

"I don't think it's as big as the last election just because Obama was a big thing," says Rockford College nursing student Elizabeth Tidei. "He's young. He's the first African American president that we've had and so now that he's already president, there's not as much passion for it."

"It's been a low chatter," says Jil Gates, the Student Activities Director at Rockford College. "It's not as thrivent as I expected it to be for a college campus."

Gates is working to change that. Spreading the word about registration, debate viewings on campus, and voting on election day.

Ariana sanders (ar-ee-on-uh san-ders) (Sophomore rockford college students)

"When all of our parents are gone, it's up to us to be able to lead our country in a good way and if we don't have an impact, where's it gonna go," says Ariana Sanders, a sophomore at Rockford College. "One of our classmates may be a future president, and we don't even know."

"I encourage all my friends to vote," says Monica Parsons, a Rockford College freshman. "I think that if you don't put your opinion out there then I don't wanna hear your opinion later."

Today was the first day of no excuse absentee voting. About 30 people voted in Rockford. Official early voting starts for everyone October 22nd.

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