Push to register young voters underway, but will it work?

- Isabella Marchese has thrown out the clipboard and signup sheets in favor of cell phones and persuasion. It's the modern way for an 18-year-old to register other young people to vote.

"The trigger for me was realizing how many times the same thing keeps happening over and over again, and how many were sitting back saying whatever is going to happen is going to happen."

Since the Parkland shootings, the Blake High School graduate has participated in "March for our Lives" rallies and signed up 25 young voters in Hillsborough County.

In South Florida, Parkland survivors rallied for much the same thing Isabella is, pledging to vote out politicians supported by the National Rifle Association.

"We are encouraging people around the country to educate themselves," said Cameron Kasky. "This generation is the generation of students you will be reading about next in the textbooks."

In March of 2014, the last midterm election, 872 voters between the age of 18 and 25 turned in new voter registration applications in Hillsborough County. This March, that number is 1,009. The county has about 825,000 voters.

"The numbers we are talking about here aren't going to impact an election in a great way," said Craig Latimer, the Hillsborough County elections supervisor.

Even more striking, in 2014, 18 to 25 year olds represented the largest group of voters with about 98,000. But only 23 percent voted. 

Of those aged 66 and up, 70 percent voted.

"They accounted for the least percent of votes that were cast," continued Latimer. "They are registered to vote. They are not voting."

Participation is what the Parkland kids, and Isabella, are really aiming for.

"That's what I try to explain to people," she said. "If you have a bunch of people who think one vote doesn't matter, now you have tens of thousands of votes that could have mattered."

The Parkland kids pledge to reach 4 million young people by the time deadlines for November voting hit.

The first event takes place next week in Chicago.

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