College Democrats Plan Young Voters Day

Kate Michelman speaks to the Gettysburg College Democrats in September (Photo Mary Frasier/The Gettysburgian)

Kate Michelman speaks to the Gettysburg College Democrats in September (File photo)

By Benjamin Pontz, Managing News Editor

Only 17 percent of millennials voted in the last midterm election. Accordingly, the Gettysburg College Democrats plan to register young voters and hear from Democratic officials as part of its first annual Young Voters Day on Saturday from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Lieutenant Governor Candidate John Fetterman, Mayor of Braddock, Pennsylvania, Former Director of NARAL Pro-Choice America Kate Michelman, who spoke at Gettysburg in the fall, and Executive Director of Emerge PA Anne Wakabayashi will headline the event, which will also feature several local candidates including Adams County Commissioner Marty Qually, who is a candidate for the 91st district of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

Brendan Salyards ’20, a member of the Democrats’ executive board, credited the organization’s Vice President Andrew Dalton ’19 with developing the event and said preparations have been underway since the fall.


“Our main goal on April 14 is to register as many new voters as possible,” a release for the event said.

Salyards also said that developing a climate of political engagement on campus is a primary motivation and that this event could grow in the future.

“We hope to expand voter registration on campus and promote the ideas of voting and being civically active on campus,” Salyards said. “I think there is also the hope that this event will be helpful in bringing higher profile candidates in the fall.”

The 2018 National Youth Poll conducted by the Harvard Institute of Politics found that 37 percent of Americans between age 18 and 29 will “definitely be voting” in 2018 as compared to 23 percent from that age group in 2014.

While College Democrats hopes to harness that enthusiasm from young voters in 2018, students are welcome to register with any party at Young Voters Day.

“We do not discriminate based on party affiliation in registering people to vote,” Salyards said. “The event is not intended to be a solely partisan affair.”

More information is available via Facebook.

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Author: Benjamin Pontz

Benjamin Pontz '20 serves as editor-in-chief of The Gettysburgian. Previously, he served as a staff writer, event coverage coordinator, news editor, and managing news editor. During his tenure, he has written more than 150 articles, and he led the team that won first place in the 2017 Keystone Press Awards for ongoing news coverage of Robert Spencer's visit to Gettysburg College and co-wrote the package of editorials that won first place in the 2018 Keystone Press Awards. Ben is a political science and public policy double major with a minor in music, and he reads up to seven newspapers daily. Follow him on Twitter @benpontz.

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