UNIVERSITY OF UTAH – A nationwide effort to get young people to the polls has come to Utah and an activist group is trying a new method.
If you walk outside of the Union Building at the University of Utah, you’ll see a sign that, at first glance, might not make much sense. It simply says, “If Not.” But, Jena Carr with the group Future Coalition says this isn’t the only place where banners like this are being dropped. Their group decided to place them in cities that have seen gun violence. Carr says these cities include Pittsburgh, Newtown Connecticut and Parkland, Florida.
“In Oakland and Chicago they did banner drops because of the daily effect of gun violence,” she says.
When you put the banners together, you’d read a famous quote.
“’If not us, then who? If not now, then when?’ So, having it split up was intentional because it’s unifying all six locations,” Carr says.
The banners are an effort to convince younger people to send in their ballots. The coalition is promoting something they call “Walk Out and Vote” which encourages students to walk out of their classes on 10 a.m. on Election Day to convince people to cast their ballots.
Group member Cody Craig says there are several reasons why younger voters don’t participate.
“Part of that is the perception of, ‘My vote doesn’t matter,’ and ‘What I say won’t matter because we live in a majority red state,’ or, ‘If I vote Democrat, there’s no point in voting,’” he says.
He also claims many young adults don’t feel represented by their current government.
He says, “Right now, the average age of a member of [The House of Representatives] is 57, and the average age of a senator is 61.”