Young Voters Demand Answers; could make big impact on elections

By Nicole Pence

June 18, 2010 Updated Oct 3, 2007 at 11:10 PM EDT

Young voters demand answers. The organization, "Young Leaders of Northeast Indiana," held a forum Wednesday evening to hear from Fort Wayne candidates. Nicole Pence reports.

The Allen County Election Board can't pinpoint the exact numbers of young people, aged 18 to 30 who’ve voted in past elections. But, officials along with people at the forum believe the "young" vote will have a big impact on November elections.

Brian Kelly/YLNI: "YLNI has a membership of over one-thousand, 20's and 40 somethings. And, this election has been very close for many different races. We see that as an opportunity to inform this demographic about the different candidates. We'll have a chance to actually swing some of these elections."

A bold statement, but one candidates agree with.

Matt Kelty/(R) Mayoral Candidate: "The youth has been an important part of our campaign all year along. Whether they chose to vote for me or not I want these people to get engaged in the process."

Tom Henry/(D) Mayoral Candidate: " I think the young people, young professionals in our community are looking for answers to issues. I believe the primary was a wake-up call for a lot of us. Certain people were excepted to win it. As a result people stayed home. I think we are going to see some good numbers in November."

Almost all Fort Wayne candidates participated, answering questions about racism, government responsibility, and addressing controversial topics like the Harrison Square project and the city's smoking ban.

Rachel Blakeman/YLNI: "We want our members to make up their minds and represent their best vision for Fort Wayne."

Keli Everett/Attended Forum: (What did you think about tonight?) I thought it was great to hear all the candidates in the area. I actually just found out what my district was, so it was great to hear from my own candidates."

Sam Wiesenberg/Attended Forum: (Will it make a difference in the way you vote in November?) Actually it will. I usually lean republican, but I really liked the libertarian candidates tonight."

Alyssa Walker/Attended Forum: "I'm not registered to vote yet but I will be (Because of tonight?) Yes."

The last day to register to vote is next Tuesday, October 9th.

Also, YLNI leaders made a fabulous resource for voters; a 24-page brochure outlines each candidate in all city-wide races and what issues they think are important.

You can find it by logging onto our website at Indiana’s NewsCenter dot-com and clicking on "News Links."

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