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Teacher Resources

Teacher Resources: 30-Second Candidate

A producer from Wisconsin Public Television once asked a group of 17-year-old high school students if they intended to vote when they turn 18.  Every hand in the room went up.  Their teacher confirmed, “This is what happens every year.”

But the facts show that something happens between the good intentions and the actual act of voting:

Fact: According to voting data, in the 2012 Presidential election, 45% of young people age 18 to 29 actually voted, down from 51 percent in 2008. Learn more here. (Source: www.civicyouth.org).

Fact: It is normally during a person’s first ten years of voting eligibility that voting habits are established. If a person is politically inactive from the ages of 18-29, it could indicate a lifetime of political inactivity (T. Patterson, 2002, The Vanishing Voter: Public Involvement in an Age of Uncertainty).

Join Wisconsin Public Television as we provide you, the young people who are on the verge of voting and their educators, with facts and tools to help you responsibly analyze campaign advertising, as ads are a major source of information about candidates.  We hope you will be able to separate these “30-Second Candidates” from the real candidate so that each vote you cast will be an informed vote.