10/15/2012 03:29 pm ET

Chris Van Hollen Encourages Voter Registration (VIDEO)

Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) is starring in a new video urging young people to exercise the right to vote.

As part of a campaign from OurTime.org, Van Hollen, whose father was in the Foreign Service, says that traveling in his early years gave him perspective on the importance of voting.

"I traveled in lots of parts of the world where people don't have the right to vote, they're thirsty for the right to vote," Van Hollen says. "You see this in many other countries around the world. So it was always very troubling to me to come back home to the United States after being overseas and see so many people just not showing up at the polls when so many people in other parts of the world are dying for that right."

He continues: "If young people decide to sit it out, they're going to risk not having a voice at the table."

The video's release coincides with the voter registration deadline in several states. Registration ends in Virginia on Monday; individuals in Maryland, Maine, New Jersey, and Oregon have until Tuesday to register.

Watch the video above.



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