By Emilie Cruz
Voter advocacy groups on Tuesday launched a drive to boost New York’s low voter turnout, especially among young adults.
“I get to have a voice,” said Guttman Community College student Dycota Robinson after registering to vote in November, his red, white, and blue vote button gleaming in the sun.
With the grassy lawn of Bryant Park as backdrop, organizations such as the League of Women Voters, Rock the Vote, and CUNY Votes set up booths under green tents, marking National Voter Registration Day, and beckoned passersby to register.
“As much as they may not care,” said CUNY Votes volunteer Shannon Finucane a volunteer with CUNY Votes of young voters, “the more they learn, the more they realize they’re directly effected.
The League of Women Voters reported that only 18.4 percent of New Yorkers turned out to vote in the citywide elections of 2009. City Board of Elections Director Mike Ryan added that the city ranked a dismal 44th in the nation in 2012 in voter turnout.
Rock the Vote political director Amanda Brown argued that the low turnout in other demographics mmight give young voters an advantage. “Fewer voters could mean more power in the the things that affect them,” she said.
The Bryant Park event was one of 650 planned for the day across the nation, said Voto Latino member Jimmy Hernandez. “And at 2 p.m., we are going to trend “#celebrateNVRD” on Twitter.”
“We want this thing to trend nationwide,” he said excitedly. “We want everyone aware.”