Millennials Have Power to Make Real Change – Despite Disenchantment With Presidential Race – By Voting On This Year’s California Ballot Propositions

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Santa Monica, CA — Even students disenchanted with the presidential race could decide real and pressing issues in this year’s election if they turn out to vote on California’s 17 ballot propositions, Consumer Watchdog said today.

“This year’s California ballot is a blockbuster — voters will decide real issues from guns and sex, weed and death, healthcare funding and tobacco, to funding for community colleges,” said Consumer Advocate Liza Tucker. “Even if college students aren’t excited about their presidential picks, this year they have more power than at just about any other time to make real, lasting choices for California.”

Consumer Watchdog released a video Election Alert, called “California, Meet Your Propositions,” with a two-minute primer on the 17 initiative measures on the 2016 ballot. The nonprofit called on students to watch and share the video, then pledge to #VoteForReal on November 8th.

View that video at:

Millennials were targeted in the last several elections with celebrity ‘get-out-the-vote’ videos, but Consumer Watchdog research revealed that celebrities in four of those videos voted in less than 4 of every 10 elections. A second video, “Vote For Real,” highlights the real reasons for voters, especially millennials, to turn out in November:

“Let’s get real. Here in California, we don’t need movie stars to get us to vote. We have a Blockbuster Ballot. Real choices on: Guns. Sex. Weed. Death. And our money. 17 propositions. No matter what you’re voting for, this vote affects you. Just vote—for yourself, not celebrities. Vote for real.”

View the video at:

Millennials represent 29% of eligible voters in California and, if they vote in large enough numbers, could shape public policy in the state. However, in a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll this month, only 54 percent of voters under age 35 rated themselves highly interested in the presidential campaign. That’s down from 60 percent in 2012, and far below 72 percent of voters in the full electorate. A recent USA Today/ Rock the Vote poll found that 46% of millennials feel, “My vote doesn’t really matter,” up from 37% at the beginning of the year.

“Nothing could be farther from the truth in California. The 17 propositions on this year’s ballot give millennials an unprecedented chance for their vote to matter on the issues they care about on November 8th,” said Tucker.

For example, a recent survey by the Public Policy Institute of California showed that millennials support marijuana legalization, enacting a tobacco tax and taxing California’s highest earners to pay for schools and healthcare in greater numbers than other California voters.

Other ballot initiatives with high levels of interest for millennials include whether California: strikes down the death penalty (Prop 62), increases gun controls (Prop 63), caps prescription drug costs to the state (Prop 61), and sells school construction bonds (Prop 51.).

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Liza Tucker
Liza Tucker
Liza Tucker is a consumer advocate for Consumer Watchdog, following everything from oil and gas to the regulation of toxic substances in the state of California. She comes to us from Marketplace, the largest U.S. broadcast show on business and economics heard by ten million listeners each week on 400 radio stations. Liza worked at this public radio show for a decade, first as Commentary Editor and then as Senior Editor for both Washington and Sustainability News.

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