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Hamilton County 17-year-olds registering to vote 'on par' with other years

Posted at 6:51 PM, Apr 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-04 18:51:49-04

CINCINNATI -- Some young people are claiming to be the new face of politics, a generation stepping up and demanding change. 

But that passion hasn't translated into more registered voters. The number of 17-year-olds registering to vote in Hamilton County is "on par with what we typically see," according to Board of Elections director Sherry Poland. 

"We haven't seen it transfer over into voting, at least not yet," she said. "We'll see. We have until Monday."

People who are currently 17 years old can vote in the upcoming primary election, as long as they'll be 18 by Election Day in November. There were 437 17-year-olds registered as of Wednesday, according to Poland. 

The number of 17-year-olds registering varies each year, Poland said. Last year, they only had about 200, but there were 800 for the 2016 presidential election. 

Poland is anticipating a voter turnout rate between 20 and 25 percent for the Ohio May primary. 

"We've seem some elections that have been settled by a one-vote difference, so every vote does matter," she said. 

The deadline to register for the primary is Monday, April 9. Click here for more information about registering to vote in Ohio.

Young people can also take part in Ohio's "Youth at the Booth" campaign.

"Seventeen-year-olds, high school seniors, can not only vote, but actually work the polls on Election Day," Poland said. "We've had great success in Hamilton County recruiting high school seniors. It's a great way to get them involved in democracy."