Skip to main content

tv   Discussion on Young Voters  CSPAN  December 29, 2021 7:00pm-8:01pm EST

7:00 pm
♪ hello to go washington unfiltered. download c-span now today. and that's an jews -- announcer: discussion focused on young voters. topics include the 26th amendment and political beliefs. >> good evening, good afternoon. good to see you here. i warmly welcome you to tonight's america to the virtual town hall program. our leadership team and a minute
7:01 pm
ago, you saw the list of cosponsors on the screen. a special welcome to our c-span audience. which is tuning into night. we are excited to learn about america's youngest voters from experts in both lineal and post-millennial political generational trends as well as efforts to suppress the votes of the young. we welcome yael, michael. there is no program but we invited a very special set of gas that will help us evaluate the country's condition as we mark the first anniversary of the january 6 insurrection. we will discuss one year later, our capital, our country, our democracy, where are we.
7:02 pm
on january 12, we are excited to welcome back the lead counsel in the charlottesville case. roberta will appear with her cocounsel. in conversation with henry weinstein. the topic is defeating nazis in court inside the charlottesville trial. as we prepare to close out another year of digital programming, we want to thank you, our audience. thank you for the donations and especially for the appreciative notes. it warms our hearts and because we are all volunteers, we really appreciate that. great compensation. full unedited recordings of all our programs can be found on our youtube channel and our website and an easy to use link is in
7:03 pm
every email that david and i send. all numbers of our audience who celebrate christmas, we want to wish you a wonderful and healthy holiday and to everyone we offer our very best wishes for a happy and healthy new year. 2022 is going to be a big year. welcome mike amazing partner, david. he is going to introduce our panel. david: just one correction. it will be january 5 one year before the anniversary. i would like so that everyone about a new program we have for jane during 19th. -- january 19. with entry of experts that are unmatched in inside.
7:04 pm
one of our most frequent and asked for guests will be joining the former world chess champion and the chairman of the renew democracy initiative. we have another important foreign policy figure that have not yet locked down. if you can't get registered for that program, we will -- what do you know when the program is available for signing up. that will take place on the 19th of january. later next month, we will post an apple bottom. -- anne applebaum. our hope is that -- morely was the director of the initiative to reinvent government during the clinton administration. he is the co-author of three books on millennials and generational change. there is a lot to cover as we
7:05 pm
explore what makes young americans take. some 45% of the popular asian still growing is the subject of our discussion tonight. we will examine why politicos and others are studying them. let's get started. morely: thank you. i always introduce -- appreciate when people introduced me and tell them that i have been in federal government. it is my biggest failure in life. there you are. you can change what happened. i will be moderating a discussion on america's youngest voters. why they are a catalyst of change and targets of suppression. for that purpose i have the great pleasure of introducing you to our two speakers tonight who can tell you all you need to know about the subject and if they don't, you can ask questions of the q&a function thereon.
7:06 pm
after all that, i messed up your name. yael is a constitutional rights attorney with 20 years of experience in community organizing and advocacy and campaigns. she was formerly the general counsel for the voting rights at the andrew goodman foundation, advancing the cause. her groundbreaking insights on how to use the 26th amendment to beat back unconstitutional attempt to impose restrictions on youth voting is just the leading example of her brilliant legal mind and activist orientation. you will see all that as she talks about this. mike is the smartest person i have ever known when it comes to extracting nuggets of wisdom from survey research data that can be put to practical and profitable use.
7:07 pm
the disney corporation, a bunch of democratic candidates and me personally have used that talent to great advantage and we remain close personal friends despite spending 10 of our 50 years co-authoring three books on the millennial generation and becoming the odd couple of book writing. i am going to call on mike here to begin the program. let me first say -- let me first show you a chart to clarify the names we are going to toss around tonight in generations of where they're at and size and locations and sequence. the thing david mentioned in terms of 45% being under 40 is actually the over under line of american voting today. we now have the largest generation gap between the younger generations and the older generations.
7:08 pm
it is the largest generation gap since boomers came along. you can all remember don't trust anyone over 30 if you are that age and have some sense of how this is rattling its way through american society. you may also notice that we use the term the pluralist generation as opposed to the gen z nomenclature because gen z does not tell you anything about the generation and it is time to learn why we think that the right name is the pluralist generation. i will turn over to my co-author and great friend. >> thank you, put up slide two. thank you. this is the first minority majority in history.
7:09 pm
the amount of white people has been cut in half from the owes generation to the younger generation and by contrast, the largest -- the percentage of nonwhite people, particularly hispanics and increasingly asians has more than doubled. this generation, the plurals are now the first majority minority generation in u.s. history and if current trend persist, by mid century, the entire country is going to be majority minority. rather than one single majority group. >> that shift from majority white, dominant white to nonwhite is the cause of a lot of concern among a lot of people. not necessarily you and me but there is something else about the pluralist generation i think you should show our audience to
7:10 pm
underline some of the anxiety that is running through american politics today. >> thank you. if you could put up chart three lease. plurals and millennials are the least religious and least christian generation in u.s. history. over 90% of the popular asian of the united states was christian of one kind or another but two thirds were protestant. almost nobody was willing to say they had no religious affiliation. increasingly, the number of christians has declined, the number of protestants in particular, evangelical protestants has declined. the amount of people who identify with no religious provision has more than doubled. it has actually quadrupled -- actually quadrupled over the same time.
7:11 pm
what we are seeing is not only demographically and ethnically are we on the way to become a majority minority country but the same is true of its religious affiliations where the majority of people are very likely not to affiliate or identify with any of the major faith traditions. you can understand that that is frightening to a fair number of people in this country. it is one of the factors of -- a major factor leading the -- those people to want to suppress the vote of the youngest generations. to keep them out of the electorate as long as possible. >> do you find that kind of anxiety and fear when you do your work? or does it tend to fall into more parochial concerns?
7:12 pm
>> now you are muted. >> ari, i am here. i think that for some extent that this has always persisted when it comes to youth voters because they are the unknown demographic. in 1971, when they finally won the franchise and were able to vote themselves after having led all of the movements of the day throughout the second reconstruction, that immediate decade after ratification of the 26th amendment was met with vast voter suppression efforts against youth voters specifically. there is always this pushback against young voters because they are unknown and just as mike pointed out, they have always been independent and they are increasingly independent.
7:13 pm
they issue -- eschew traditional party structures, traditional village instructors. if you talk to a millennial, they would have different opinions on what job requirements are and what institutionalization is in the workforce. they have always been independent and it is because of that that they were enfranchised. young people have always led and helped us create and write the story of america. frederick douglass, alice paul, alexander hamilton, the late great john lewis, they were all in their early 20's when they fought for the constitutional nation of new rights or the rights already hard and fought for. they continue to do that today through their leadership. >> that is not surprising to me but for people who don't know
7:14 pm
you, extort never the insightful observations. i am old enough term member the passage of vote at 18 but it had a different slant. there was bipartisan support for that amendment. it passed in record time if memory serves me correctly. yet today, you see all of this work to try to suppress the vote. if you have been able to work with but the foundation and other constitutional scholars -- you found ways that use the constitutional protections of the 26th amendment and other things to be back this effort. >> absolutely. the 26th amend and is part of the evolution of the right to vote. it is a part of the 14th amendment, the 15th amendment, the 19th amendment, etc.. it was introduced at the end of
7:15 pm
the second reconstruction because young people finally turned to themselves to enfranchise themselves. just going back to the prior point, thank you for pointing that out. when the 26th amendment was ratified. i always have to remind people what this amendment is. even though they were alive at the time. the 26th amendment was ratified in 1971. he lowered the voting age to 18. it outlawed abridgment of the right to vote on account of age. from that perspective, it is related to access to the franchise. huge cross partisan support for franchising youth voters in 1971. it was president eisenhower and barry goldwater who championed it among famous democrats like ted kennedy. it was also president nixon who ceremoniously signed it into
7:16 pm
law. i think this notion of the independent is really important for us in terms of the conversation we are having today about why they serve such a critical role to democracy and how that was embraced across partisan lines. when he signed the amendment into law, president nixon of all people said they infused to the practice of democracy with some idealism, some courage, some stamina, some high moral purpose this nation always needs. because the country throughout history goes through a of idealism and going back to your question, we are seeing a flash of votive restrictions being issued today. particularly in the wake of the 2020 election and also in the wake of this 2008 election that we are still coming to terms with. >> those efforts just in this down, to find out whether all your efforts are enabling
7:17 pm
plurals to actually vote and how they might, are your efforts -- when you do all of that work, with the local folks, the state legislature, election officials, are they blatant about their desire to keep people from voting? what kind of public explanation do they have for denying people their 26th amendment rights? >> sometimes there is a lack of intentionality about it but it is under the surface. for example, the question about access to polling places on campuses where young people are centered, where they study, live, eat, sleep, it's ed buck, i did a survey of campuses from the 2018 election, of the campuses i surveyed, less than half had a polling location on campus. in florida, as chief counsel for voting rights where i continue to serve as chief counsel and strategic advisor, we fought where the secretary of state said that campuses could not be
7:18 pm
host to early voting periods. they could not be host to early voting locations and we quantified the impact of that morally. it is really startling. generally people say all right. they ask leanne huge impacts on the electoral margin and electoral outcome. the 2018 election was the first election after we lifted that ban on the availability of on-campus locations. in just three months, 12 campuses brought early polling locations on board. we got the plume and or injunction, that november was the general election. 60,000 voters avail themselves of that electron mechanism. when you contrast that with the electoral margin, the senate race in florida in 2018, the margin was 10,000 voters.
7:19 pm
the gubernatorial was 32,000 voters. imagine if we could spread that across the state in terms of bringing on places on campus. there is a question of other types of special burdens that young voters specifically face as well. not just the polling place question. >> that is great. unbelievable data. mike, you're the data guy across the country. never mind just florida. what indication do we have? >> specifically, what we have is after 2018, turnout was exceptionally high among young voters. it varies to some degree but in the 2020 election in particular, young voters were highly crucial
7:20 pm
their turn increased, it almost doubled from about 19% to over 50% in 2020. there were a number of reasons for that. there were concerns about the candidates. particularly donald trump on either the positive or the negative side. young voters were very concerned but also etiquette is important to note that many opportunities were given for people to vote early through mail in a variety of ways and young voters took advantage of that opportunity.
7:21 pm
they were crucial in the election. in key states like canceling a, arizona, georgia, it is very likely that young voters, particularly young voters of color were the deciding factor in joe biden carrying the states. when given an opportunity, young voters will turn out to vote in large numbers. that begs the question and we will need a couple more of your great charts to get into the detail. how do they vote when they vote? they were critical, they had an edge in the 2020 election. you have national numbers and charts to back that up. >> i certain they do. if you could put up chart for please. thank you. one of the reasons -- it is very interesting. the 1971 year where the 26th amendment was passed came at an
7:22 pm
interesting time. it was during the vietnam war and people felt it was only fair that as people were eligible for the draft and eligible to go overseas and take a chance on being killed that they should have an opportunity to vote. also, there was a time of bipartisan cooperation, much more so than you see at the present time. and you look at the one generation, the baby boomer generation in spite of the image that it was a radical generation, baby boomers were fairly evenly divided between publicans and democrats. what has happened currently if you look at the chart, there were almost twice as many democrats as there are republicans among the two youngest generations. i think that is one factor that contributes to a desire to limit the votes of younger people. there is a partisan implication
7:23 pm
in voting for those younger generations. they can also find the same thing is true of their ideological beliefs. >> i was going to ask you if they come to that partisan decision out of loyalty to a party or from ideology? what is their ideology? >> they come to the decision for a variety of reasons. one of them is severing loyalty to a party, not necessarily an institution but as a voting queue. young voters identify with -- like everybody else with clinical party. that helps them to interpret the world of politics. young voters come to decisions as they view the world as to which party they will identify with and depending on the era in which they are coming of age, they will identify either as
7:24 pm
republicans or democrats, not entirely, that is a commitment to vote for the democratic or a party but they tend to vote in that direction and once those attitudes are established, they can stick with those attitudes over the course of their lives. it also affects their believes on issues and their ideology as well. >> are they a bunch of leftists that will never be able to unite with the older folks of the democratic party? is there a chart on that? >> if you look at the ideological beliefs, you can see the percentage of conservatives -- the red has gone down -- the older generation to the youngest by more than half. on the other hand, the number of people who identified in the youngest generations as liberals and progressives has more than doubled. what we are coming to right now is that for the first time,
7:25 pm
probably since the g.i. or greatest generation of world war ii, the first time when there are at least as many if not more liberal identifiers than conservative identifiers. that has not existed since that generation that came of age during the great depression and world war ii. white at the risk of -- leave the slide up for a minute if you could. at the risk of -- it's really important that people look at this chart as you try and figure out why the democratic party has such difficulty uniting. you have pointed out how much more left if you will plurals and millennials are. i mentioned that the age 40 is now the over and under mark for how people vote.
7:26 pm
his with the votes of, sorry to tell most people on this call, is the votes of people under 40 that are giving the democrats their margin of victory. but just think about the challenge of uniting that ideological split across the generations. >> not only that morally but republican identifiers are ideologically very united, about 80% of them are more call themselves conservative. the democratic identifiers are much more divided, the largest number of liberals are about a third are moderates and even 10 or 15% are conservatives, so it is very difficult to unite the democrats, as he is saying. >> i want you to join in here based upon the work you have done on behalf of this generation and with this generation. the reason that people are gathering every wednesday night to listen to this wonderful program is because of our concern about the future of
7:27 pm
democracy and whether it will survive in our lifetimes regardless of how old we might be. besides the ideology of that young generation and younger generations, should we also be concerned about their attitudes toward democracy? obviously you have done a lot of work in getting them out to vote or enabling them to get out to vote and some activism as well, but is democracy in bad shape with the young generation? >> my experience, i work with young people who are activists who are organizers and who are interested in changing state laws and working with her college campuses and local and state and national officials and will litigate when necessary to overturn bad laws. my experience with them is that they are actually incredibly engaged. they are incredibly interested and there's a lot of beautiful
7:28 pm
empowerment that can -- and impact that can take place with just a simple flush of the right type of support, strategic support or resource or whatnot. i can't tell you how many times i talked to young people, i mean this sounds extreme, but it's also true. they tell me that they were in near tears because they were fighting against something so much, and i spoke with them, and just through like a simple conversation with somebody who understands where they are, can offer some strategic support, including a legal lens to their work and a constitutional framework, we find a way for them to overcome whatever barrier they have. and what i find from that is that they are incredibly engaged and incredibly smart. the florida case that i mentioned before, the reason that it came about was because the young physics student wrote an op-ed in a statewide paper
7:29 pm
and said, this is just plainly wrong. and we see that, we see young people are leading all the movements of today, if it's gun-control or climate change, social justice, racial justice, etc. and they always have and they always will. it's a question of whether or not we can support them and get out of their way, quite frankly. young people are interested, they are taking up increasingly, they are a larger and larger pool of the voting population and both the democratic party and the republican party would be good to listen to them and to actually respond to what their needs are. just as mike said earlier, the 2020 election we saw the largest voter turnout overall in the 21st century. it's the first election in which young people under 30, the majority of them came out and
7:30 pm
voted. there's two reasons for that. mike said them perfectly before. one was, they were fighting against authoritarianism and for democracy. it was not a question of partisanship this election. it was about voting for the basic principle of democracy, which we are continuing to fight for. and the second piece was the election modernization trend that was temporarily ushered in as a result of the pandemic. the uniform distribution in some states of vote by mail ballots led to increased participation of young people, 57% largest statewide turnouts by young people were in states that allowed for these kind of universal, commonsense policies. but this is where i can't just hang my hat and criticize the republican party because we need more leadership from the democrats. we have joe manchin who sat in the way, issuing the call of his
7:31 pm
west virginia predecessor, senator jennings randolph, who was the grandfather of the 26th amendment, had introduced it over three decades 30 years over 150 times in the legislature to usher it through. meanwhile joe manchin has sat in the way of bite -- a voting rights come and now the voting rights bill. still the democrats would do well to listen to these calls. i'll give you one example. i have litigated now twice successfully on behalf of bard college to implement a polling place on campus in the blue state of new york. in new york, there's been a bill long languishing which would place polling places on requisite campuses that meet the minimum criteria for it. long languishing bill.
7:32 pm
in the blue state of new jersey, where the progressive governor, i think there was a recent article that said he's the most progressive governor in the nation. also a long i'm wishing bill for election day registration. and we know that those critical reforms are the ones that are the quickest to be slashed. in north carolina they slashed election day registration. the fourth circuit said overturn the omnibus law that had been ratified to say that it was implemented with almost surgical precision to suppress the vote of african-americans. but what is really interesting when you look at the youth piece of it, that election day registration/was cute -- slash was hugely influential for youth voters specifically who relied on it at outsize rates, just
7:33 pm
like they rely on early voting at outsize rates. in north carolina where the omnibus ball -- law was slashed was eventually found to be unconstitutional by the fourth circuit court of appeals. they are they slashed a pre-registration program that in just three years had registered 160,000 16-year-old and 17-year-olds and they did it through a really innovative program that brought county registrars onto the high schools to do voter education. we have to look for youth empowerment across and through partisan lines, which is in keeping with the history of the amendment which had massive cross partisan and uniform appeal. >> wait stop there. i just wanted to add, california
7:34 pm
introduced online registration and saw an explosion of democratic vote as a result of that. the examples are terrific. i want to make sure that we are not extrapolating small pieces into large truths. mike, how true is all of the stuff that yael just talked about in terms of getting response and seeing the reaction of young people in their belief in democracy in action? >> well, first of all, young people do believe in democracy. it's very clear, about two thirds of them say that democracy is very important and another chunk believes that it's at least somewhat important that the united states persist as a democracy. virtually no young people are willing to give up on democracy. they recognize that democracy has challenges, but they also
7:35 pm
think it is very important to preserve the system and they are willing to take the steps to do that, not only voting, we've been talking about voting, and that is obviously a key thing. but the activities beyond voting , the more difficult activities, young people have been very active in participating in. they have close to 30% have joined organizations that deal with civic issues. a quarter have contributed money, and these are young people just getting started, who may not have as much money to contribute to political or social causes, but they've been willing to do that. so they have been extremely active and participants in democracy. i'd also like to add one other thing. one of the things i find encouraging, particularly about plurals, but millennials to some degree as well, is their
7:36 pm
willingness to compromise across party lines, which you don't see , unfortunately, from the older generations to quite the same degree. younger republican plurals, for example, or actually closer to their democratic cogeneration lists, if that is a word i can use, on a variety of issues like race relations, gay rights, climate change, then they are to the older republicans. when we get to the point where those generations are actually running things in government, i think we are going to receive -- see a return to the kind of bipartisan compromise that was a function in the past in the united states. and i think it's going to be younger people and their activities that are going to be able to bring a lot of this about. >> that's a hopeful note. are there places or people or
7:37 pm
organizations rather that people who are now agitated by our conversation i want to do something about this, that you could turn to or help whether they are young or not? >> we are fortunate in this country that we do have robust good government organizations that do wonderful democracy work in general. the ones doing unique work in the youth voting space, have to plug and share my organization, the andrew goodman foundation. we are on 100 campuses in 24 states and the district of columbia and growing, a particularly unique portfolio from that regard. we work with young people and colleges to make young voices a force in democracy. also there is a really great organization that is based in california. i know you have a lot of california listeners tuning in, called the civic center, based in l.a., that focuses on the
7:38 pm
preregistration piece. they work with high schoolers to register them to vote, primarily in california. they've done some really great reports and research. that's another avenue for supporting folks in the field, one for high schoolers and the other one for college plus. >> we are going to turn to some audience questions to get some answers for the folks out there in the viewing audience. before we do that, i do want to underline not only mike's point about the opportunity for cooperation within the age group remains high, i know you found the same situation and some of the work that you've done. i also am heartened by the notion that they are interested in participation in democracy, put their money where their mouth is, or more accurately put their feet in action where their mouth is on that topic. that gives us all some reason to
7:39 pm
be optimistic about the future. with regard to questions, they been coming in through our q&a function and i will obviously not get to all of them. there is one i have to get out of the way, even though i'm not supposed to answer questions. somebody asked, don't younger, more liberal voters become more conservative as they age? i want to take the opportunity to say that is completely false. it is not been shown in any survey research data. people adhere to the voting patterns they take up in their young age. >> one example that we have used before, he goes back a bit, but in the 2004 election, there were two generational groups that voted for john kerry, the democratic candidate. that was the very first millennials coming into the electorate, and the very last gis or greatest generation leaving the electorate.
7:40 pm
that g.i. generation, by that point, those were people in their 80's and 90's, and yet they were still as democratic as they ever were when they voted for franklin roosevelt back in the 1930's and 1940's. >> there's a question here specifically for you. is the u.s. justice department investigating the efforts to suppress the younger voters in florida? >> well in florida we overturn the ban through 26 amendment presidential 26 amendment litigation but there is ongoing litigation still, one out of texas. student identification cards are not ubiquitously offered as a form of voter identification. often times a right to vote from campus, there's a lot of them from -- misinformation, but the
7:41 pm
supreme court upheld it and the only summary judgment decision in 1979 that it heard on the 26 amendment. the list goes on and on. the one thing i want to help to get as a take away morally is that, a lot of people have forgotten what the 26 amendment is, but we are in the midst of celebrating its 50th anniversary. so the more we can discuss it and remember what its promises -- what it promises and engage in popular education, the more people will start to view this individual infringement as part of a systemic issue. the 26th amendment allows for the attorney general to institute lawsuits against malfeasance as well, but also private rights of action on behalf of youth voters. >> we have cited a lot of survey research on this program.
7:42 pm
there is more for those willing to delve into it to be found. out there in the world and in our writings. but is there a specific challenge, is there a good representation or not imposters talking to young people? how accurate and valid are the results from things like the harvard poll on 18 to 29-year-olds? >> i don't want to get into a long methodological discussion here but polling actually is quite accurate. there are challenges in certain races, but i would trust that the harvard poll and particularly even more so the pew surveys that are conducted periodically about american generations are extremely accurate and able to fathom really how the various generations, their political attitudes and their attitudes in a variety of ways, and i would
7:43 pm
just recommend to any of the listeners who are interested in delving further into this, to look at the pew research website and you can find all sorts of information on the attitudes and behavior of younger people, really people of all ages, but particularly younger viewers. -- younger voters. >> another question related to that for the viewers, does that research or your examination of voting data suggest there is a difference in voting patterns among young people by race or ethnicity? >> yes, of course, just as everything, in some ways sadly, i suppose, things are often divided in this country along racial and ethnic lines. but even among young people, the same divisions that you see, white, young people are more
7:44 pm
likely to be republican than young people of color, although white young people are more democratic than older white people are. but there are the same divisions that you see for the population in general. >> are the differences as stark as they? ? are in older generations >> -- are the differences as stark as they are in older generations? no, they are not as stark. primarily because white young voters from the white millennials, white plurals, are more evenly divided between the parties then older white members of older white generations.
7:45 pm
>> this is a little bit of a trick question for you. are republicans also denying students the opportunity to vote using their campus address? >> we have some examples like in new hampshire for example, republican state constant harassment and litigation related to young people forcing them to have to prove their permanent allegiance to a college. for example, offering a copy of their voter registration card as proof of ongoing citizenship to the locality. but this question is generally applied across the board. people in general, democrats included, they think that young people are the upset, the independent swing, the group that they can't always rely on.
7:46 pm
the disruptors. they are not on the voter rolls, they don't have necessarily the polling, they don't know who their list is for voter turnout in the same way as they have on their readily available list form prior cycles etc. so this is something, i don't want to judge -- i have a lot to credit the democratic party. but a lot of these view conversations tend to be just focused on one or the other. we obviously have to focus on voter suppression. 19 states have ushered in 34 voter restrictions just since the january 6 insurrection just a year ago. we can't forget the federal legislation that's pending. but when we look at youth voters, i'm very interested in studying expansion opportunities, and that applies across partisan lines. whether or not it is intentional is a different question but
7:47 pm
there is opportunity across partisan lines for growth. >> one of the challenges i think is that democrats don't quite realize the potential of young voters to the extent that they should. they don't recognize there's this argument whether we should vote for young voters, older voters, and i don't think democrats in office and in the party often fully recognize the power of this generation that is coming their way. >> i think that's right, and i think there's a bit of trepidation about it. for example, why is it that in even blue states, they can have an on-campus polling location or election day registration. there's very limited state legislation that has been proposed around what would be a
7:48 pm
requisite threshold for requiring a university to put a polling place on campus. so these are new proposals. there's one in new york, one in maryland. there is one other state that is currently escaping me. but these are very new proposals that are being discussed. i'm told that the new york youth voting coalition has really rallied around this new proposal , long pending proposal, but they are rallying around it for 2022 to be one of their main points of issue. there's room for potential across the board. they are required to engage in voter registration through federal mandate. there are a range of opportunities here for further mandating of youth engagement but also just encouragement.
7:49 pm
>> there's one classic question i will save just for a moment. but we have one more related question to the stuff we were just talking about that i want to get in. it's the issue of voter fraud, because of the transitory nature of youth who are moving in from home to college campus, for those fortunate enough to be able to go -- to afford to go to college. even though voter fraud is overall a red herring piece of the conversation about voting rights, is there any indication that young people have engaged in any kind of fraudulent behavior when the opportunity to vote is made easier for them? >> absolutely not. you are more likely to be hit by lightning and to have an example of in person voter impersonation. that is a myth that's been propagated by the help of nefarious agencies and actors
7:50 pm
that traffic in fear and lives and disinformation. voter fraud is not something that we should be focused on. when we are overly focused on voter fraud, this is where we allow the narrative to be flipped. what does election integrity and public confidence in our election mean? it means participation. it doesn't mean restricting the gate of who can engage and trying to change the rules in order to jerry rig the outcome. that is not what a public confidence in our electoral systems looks like. in fact, that was a question that came up through the 1979 26th amendment case that went up to the supreme court. the court basically upheld a lower decision that found that you can't selectively presume
7:51 pm
that youth voters are eligible or not eligible to vote, compared to other populations. that's a violation of equal protection and it's a violation of the 26th amendment. you can't pose new questions or special obstacles on youth voters that you don't apply or expect on other voters. and yet seven states in the country only allow for access to no excuse to vote by mail to 60 or 65 plus and not to those who are 18 years old, even in the midst of an election and even if they are immuno compromise. we have a lot of examples in 2020 where we had robust election modernization. we need to look at those examples as an opportunity for hope to say that participation encourages public confidence and that is what election integrity actually is. >> the one question we have that
7:52 pm
sums up all of this is, what is the best strategy for getting young people out to vote? i will do a quick note of personal privileges. one of the best strategies would be to connect to an outfit called rise, which is the leading student advocacy and for voting rights organization in the country for students to get involved. their methodology is to have students talk to other students to get them out to vote. there's a second equally good thing which is to hire to break up the legal barriers that might stand in the way of your particular campaign. and third, talk to mike about the issues that will motivate voters. what are the issues motivating young people to come out and vote? and is democracy one of them? >> i think democracy is one of them. one of the key issues people are
7:53 pm
-- young people are concerned about, one of them is clearly climate change. their generations are going to be living in this world as the climate does change, and so they are particularly concerned about that. they are also concerned about human rights, of all sorts, racial, ethnic, gay-rights and so on. those are the issues that i think really speak to those two generations, and obviously, as well, their place in this society and the economy. of course they got to be concerned about that. what i would say those three issues of climate change, human rights, and the economy, or issues that particularly motivate those younger two generations. it used to be health care until everybody got on their parents, got the right to stay in their
7:54 pm
parents insurance. i think there's more people in our generation. at some point, god willing, they will be concerned about health care, right now it's the other issues that i think are more crucial. >> last question, and then will have a chance to summarize. do you think the current supreme court take the same attitudes toward the 26th amendment and its prohibition on a bridging based on age, the right to vote, as the past precedent that you are citing? >> i can't make predictions about the current united states supreme court, to be honest with you. particularly as i followed the oral argument related to the question of women's rights to bodily autonomy.
7:55 pm
and the commitment or disregard for a precedent within those circumstances. there is good supreme court precedent that oppose the 26 amendment. the jurisprudence immediately following its ratification applied strict scrutiny to challenges and tossed them out. that's the highest standard of judicial review available for the state actually has to have a valid, justifiable excuse for imposing a remedy. so the question remains whether or not the supreme court and the federal judiciary who continue to follow that, especially because the judiciary, particularly in certain circuits, has become increasingly polarized. meanwhile we still have the state courts and local remedies such as the polling place question which is a purely local question. so we have to make inroads on the federal level. the independence of our judiciary is critical at the
7:56 pm
moment. i'm happy to see the new appointments coming in, but we can't forget the premise of state constitutional rights and the strength including around the right to vote, look for other proactive solutions that look at local remedies, and going to question before, what can people do? i think we have to support organizers and we have to support a policy and approach to social change that leverages organizing advocacy, public education, and litigation when necessary. i think there are different social justice organizations in the space and everyone has carved out their own niche, naturally good. but when you're able to integrate those various strategies, that's where you reach a tipping point. i find a lot of hope in the question about youth voting, and this is a good way to end the
7:57 pm
comments on my end. use voters are independent. they are cross partisan. my experience is republicans don't want to hear about youth voter suppression for their students anymore than democratic parents do. and age, unlike other constitutional classifications like race or national origin is really unique. it's a classification that is fixed, meaning you can't change it, despite some people's best efforts. you can't change her age. it's universal, meaning everybody ages out. were all only young once, and god willing we continue to age. it's something that we can all unite and experience together and we all remember it. so my hope is that the question about protecting against age-based discrimination and
7:58 pm
access to the franchise can actually be a unifying force and that again goes to recall the history of the 26th amendment and its nearly universal appeal and support across partisan lines. >> perfect for closing remarks from you. mike, have you got one final thought you want to express? >> as we've seen, the united states, really over the past four or five decades, has changed and is being driven by younger generations, by the two younger generations from a country that was a most entirely white and almost entirely christian to one that is majority hot -- majority minority in both its race and ethnicity and its religion. that has had an impact on the partisanship, potential partisanship of the country going forward. it's something that i think does terrify republicans going forward, and it's something that many democrats don't recognize.
7:59 pm
and it's something that has the potential to lead to voter suppression or at least unwillingness to eliminate voter suppression in both directions. >> thank you both for all of your wonderful comments, insights, and learning that you've been willing to share with us tonight. also i office lee want to thank the audience above all for tuning in and conversation. the conversation will continue, not next week, but the week after, on january 5. we have this dynamite program, it is the eve of the one-year anniversary of the january 6 insurrection. we will be learning from people involved in that discussion and watching the critical work of the committee, the house select committee, bipartisan committee, on the insurrection. what is likely to become one of
8:00 pm
the dominant stories of the 2022 election year, and hopefully educate people on the dangers facing our democracy. on behalf of everybody involved in these programs, i'd like to wish you all good health, safety , obviously in the new year. have is happy holid >> as a public service along with these other television providers, giving you a front row seat to democracy. >>

56 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on