Young Voters


Vote Because Your Dad Says So, and Other Lessons from an SFSU Voter Rally

This election season, KQED News has been visiting college campuses around the Bay Area and talking to students about government, politics and the future of the country. You’ll be able to hear some of those discussions beginning Tuesday on KQED 88.5 FM and on

The colleges we visited included San Francisco State University, where last week students and administrators held a pre-election rally. The event gave students a chance to register to vote and learn more about the issues and candidates from those involved with campaigns.

We took photos of the rally that we think provide some interesting lessons on voting and campaigning this election season:

1. When it comes to voting, parents can be inspirational. San Francisco State University administrator Jared Giarrusso offered this reason for voting during a voter rally Wednesday at the university.

Jared Giarrusso at an SFSU voter rally

Photo by Ian Hill/KQED

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Young Voters Sound Off in Silicon Valley

(Photo: Stephen Pottage)

Participants in the focus group were vocal about their support for education. (Photo: Stephen Pottage)

With the national conventions behind them now, Republicans and Democrats say they’re all fired up and ready to go — sprinting toward the November election.

Four years ago Barack Obama marched into the White House beside an army of young volunteers. How are voters under 30 feeling about politics now?

As President Obama was giving his acceptance speech Thursday night, a group of younger citizens in Silicon Valley discussed their feelings about the election. Those focus groups are part of KQED’s campaign season series “What’s Government For?” — a joint project with the non-partisan Public Policy Institute of California.

“But just about everybody wanted government to do more to improve schools and to make college more affordable.”

While the PPIC does public opinion polling, they also are conducting these smaller conversations to take the pulse of Californians this election year. KQED has already participated in Contra Costa, Fresno and Los Angeles. On Thursday night, 20 young adults — ages 18 to 29 — gathered to talk about their views on government and politics. The group was a mix of Republicans, Continue reading