Getting out the vote

What wonderful news!

According to data analyzed by the Civics Center, the number of 18-year-olds registered to vote in Ohio as of Jan. 6 was a 35% increase compared with late August.

According to a report by the Ohio Capital Journal, the Civics Center data shows there are more than 48,600 18-year-olds registered to vote here.

Civics Center is a nonpartisan organization dedicated to increasing voter registration and participation.

“What we typically see is that registration rates, especially for the youngest voters, can go up very significantly when young people become more aware of elections in which their votes will matter,” Laura Brill, founder and CEO of Civics Center, told the Capital Journal.

And make no mistake, their votes DO matter as fresh perspective is desperately needed to decide the people and issues that will mean just as much — perhaps more — to their future than to those who have already been voting for decades.

It is encouraging to know upcoming elections may be an even better representation of the will of all Ohioans, with their input.

There are still many more young people to bring on board, however.

Civics Center told the Capital Journal more than 100,000 18-year-olds remained unregistered to vote in Ohio as of early January.

Though we’ve passed the deadline to register in time for the March 19 primary, there will be other opportunities. Families, schools and communities must do their best not only to encourage these young people to register to vote, but to teach them about the process.

With so much at stake, we can only benefit from the input of those younger people who are jumping into the democratic process with critical thinking, new questions and a brighter vision for what Ohio and our country should be.


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