Polis rallies youth vote, casts ballot on first day of early voting

BOULDER – Congressman Jared Polis Monday tried to rally students at the University of Colorado at Boulder, urging them to show the same enthusiasm for next month’s midterm elections that they demonstrated when they helped sweep him and the Obama administration into office in 2008.

“A lot of people are writing off the youth vote, and that is a big problem,” Polis told the group of about 50 students. “So are you going to prove them wrong?”

In addition to Polis, a Boulder Democrat whose 2nd Congressional District includes his hometown, the rally featured speeches by Democratic lieutenant governor candidate Joe Garcia and CU Board of Regents candidate Melissa Hart.

Fully aware of burden placed on students by continual tuition hikes, the candidates spoke to concerns about decreasing state funding for higher education.

“Today, the state is paying less and so you are paying more,” said Garcia, who attended CU-Boulder. “The fact that students today have to pay so much more to receive a higher education is a sign we are heading in the wrong direction.”

Garcia, who has a background as an educator and has served as president of Colorado State University at Pueblo, also stressed the importance of education in stimulating the economy: “With young people lies our opportunity to turn this economy around and lead us to greater heights.”

The candidates encouraged young voters to volunteer and talk to their friends to disprove the polls that show trouble for Democrats in the coming election, due in part to a lack of enthusiasm amongst young voters.

After the rally, the group, waving signs and encouraging other students to vote, walked to the CU Recreation Center where they joined Polis in castomg their ballots on the first day of early voting.

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