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UW Election Eye 2012

Campaign 2012 through the eyes of UW faculty and students

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You are currently viewing all posts written by Melanie Eng. Melanie Eng is an undergraduate at the University of Washington studying journalism, international policy and global communications. She has covered immigration, health care and and social activism as a student reporter, and is a former arts + culture intern for Seattleite magazine.

November 2, 2012 at 7:00 PM

Seattle youth defy national voter apathy trends

Nationwide, young voters are less likely to vote this year than in 2008. But in Seattle, they’re more engaged than ever before.

More than 300 young Seattleites listen to a motivation speech by State Senator Ed Murray (D-Seattle) before canvassing to get out the vote at Washington Bus’s Trick-or-Vote event last Saturday. (Photo courtesy of Toby Crittenden / UW Election Eye)

SEATTLE — What do a skeleton, Rosie the Riveter and a walking cupcake all have in common?

They were among 400 creatively-costumed young activists trick-or-treating for votes and marriage equality in Seattle over Halloween weekend.

Trick or Vote, an annual “Get Out the Vote” canvassing event put on by Seattle-based non-profit Washington Bus, saw an unprecedented number of dedicated young people taking to the streets this year in their spookiest (or quirkiest) attire — reminding people to turn in their ballots before election day next week and to support Referendum 74.

It was the biggest turnout at an event in Washington Bus history. This is in keeping with an increasing number of young Seattleites taking politics into their own hands this year — especially when it comes to local and state issues — but this runs counter to national trends of youth-voter disengagement.

Washington Bus, unique in its youth-focused approach to political engagement, doubled its number of regular participants in just the past year. Most of these volunteers are under 25 years old.

 

According to Toby Crittenden, Washington Bus’ executive director, there are now more than 5,000 young people who canvas and phone bank with the Bus on a regular basis, which is ten times more than when it started up in 2007 (and yes, this includes 2008’s “Obamamania“).

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Comments | More in Local, State | Topics: apathy, engagement, Young voters

October 31, 2012 at 4:10 PM

Minority representation still a challenge in hyper-diverse 9th district

The 9th Congressional District (shown in green) was redrawn this year to be Washington’s first ‘majority-minorty’ district. (Image via Google Maps and Washington State Redistricting Commission)

Majority-minority districts are usually created with an eye to boosting the number of minorities in Congress. But in the Washington’s new majority-minority 9th District, that’s definitely not going to happen this election.

SEATTLE — When Washington’s congressional districts were redrawn last January, the State Redistricting Commission made a bold move:

They split the city of Seattle between two districts in order to create the state’s first ever “majority-minority” district.

The 9th Congressional District was shifted northward, leaving behind the Fort Lewis area and rural Pierce County to take in both South Seattle and a growing population of immigrant and minority voters in South King County.

Now 51 percent of residents in the new 9th district identify as ethnic minorities.

But when those minority voters cast their ballots this week, they’ll be choosing between eight-term incumbent Adam Smith, a Democrat, and GOP challenger Jim Postma.

Both are white. Both are Christian. Both were born in the US.

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Comments | More in Local | Topics: 9th District, Adam Smith, Congress