OurTime.org, a nationwide non-profit organization that stands up for the rights and opportunities of young adults, succeeded in engaging more than 350,000 young voters in this year’s hotly contested presidential election. Through a multi-media campaign, the organization generated tremendous enthusiasm among a demographic currently affected by daunting realities including high unemployment, massive student loan debt and an overwhelming feeling of disenchantment towards government.
Through social media, celebrity spokespeople, an innovative online voter registration app, and even a Tee shirt line with personalized statements from A-listers such as Usher and Jessica Alba, OurTime.org made politics “relevant” and accessible, helping young voters represent 19% of the electorate this year as compared with 17% for seniors.
Social media has made it easier than ever before to immediately bring important political messages and their spokespeople into the homes, dorms and offices of millions of Americans. Young people live on-line, are in constant contact with their peers, and are influenced by high-profile entertainers with whom they feel a real and personal connection. OurTime.org’s campaign was successful because it employed strategies that supported this new reality.
OurTime.org’s twenty-seven year old President and Co-Founder Matthew Segal remarks, “The Youth Vote beat everyone’s expectations this Election. Contrary to what the pundits predicted, young people outvoted seniors 65 and older, and cemented themselves once again as an electoral force to be reckoned with. OurTime.org registered hundreds of thousands of young Americans this Election who clearly turned out to express their will on social issues, climate change, and the economy. It’s our hope that our leaders will work together in a less partisan political climate to empower the lives of America’s future.”