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More young voters hitting the polls

Tulsa is seeing an increase in the number of voters under 40 who are making their voice heard. (Clemmer/KTUL)
Tulsa is seeing an increase in the number of voters under 40 who are making their voice heard. (Clemmer/KTUL)
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While the demographic breakdown of who voted in Tuesday's election is still being worked out, there is a strong feeling of improvement for a group that normally doesn't.

"To all the people that say young people don't vote," said Mayor-elect G.T. Bynum to thunderous applause during his victory speech.

On average, just 10 percent of people under age 40 vote in municipal elections. However, the Tulsa Young Professionals group is helping to change that.

"There's a reinvigorated activism, political activism amongst our demographic, and really in the country as a whole," said Daniel Regan of TYPROS.

The impact the group saw after its "get out the vote" program for the Vision initiative was staggering.

"What we saw after digesting the numbers is we had a 40 percent increase in the under-40 turnout," Regan said. "Which is about 2,000 to 2,500 voters that turned out that wouldn't normally have been expected to show up."

Others are also noticing more youngsters at the polls.

"I just wanted it to be known how dedicated they are," said Caroline Avant, a poll worker who was so impressed with the young voters she saw that she snapped some pictures.

Avant noticed the young voters all had one thing in common.

"Without exception, every one of these kids that have come in to vote have come in with their parents," she said. "That told me volumes right there."

Regan said the young people's vote was a vote for participation, with a victory for being heard.

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"Your voice has so much more impact on a local vote than anything else that happens in your community," he said.

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