Since 2000, young people have been hitting the polls in increasingly unprecedented numbers. Yes, since 2000. Despite what you may have heard, youth turnout wasn't an unexpected consequence of one election cycle or the byproduct of one person, party or policy.
This year, before a single polling place has opened, the media has already dismissed young people as a legitimate voting cohort; we're seen as unreliable, fickle and emotional.
Well, I think they're wrong. I think we're powerful.
Fundamentally, while members of Congress may have the power to vote for or against legislation -- we have the power to vote for or against every one of them.
Why wouldn't we vote again?
It's that perspective that's shaped the development of Vote Again 2010, a platform being orchestrated by over 30 youth organizations and media partners. Today, Vote Again 2010 announced our first major initiative, a user generated video contest that asks you why you're voting again in 2010. Check out the promo video below explaining the contest featuring youtube celebrities Jason Pollock, Tay Zonday (of 'Chocolate Rain' fame), Brittani Taylor, & Joey Anderton.
Three Vote Again partner organizations -- the United States Student Association, the Bus Federation Civic Fund and HeadCount -- have already submitted videos. Visit the site to check them out and submit your own.
Ultimately, this year we're faced with a familiar choice: We can allow frustration to give way to discouragement, or worse, to silence. We can hear the shouting that masquerades as debate and decide that we want no part in it ... or we can refuse allow our futures to be decided by media narratives and pundits.
Most importantly, this Nov. 2, we can vote again.
Follow Sara Haile-Mariam on Twitter: www.twitter.com/Sarahailemariam