06/05/2012 08:46 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

In Government Class On Election Day

By: Robyn Gee

California voters went to the polls today, with Proposition 29 being the most anticipated item on the ballot, the Tobacco Tax proposition. For some high school seniors, this is the first time they’ve been eligible to vote.

A recent study by the Educational Testing Service, shows that young, high school dropouts living in poverty, are 23 times less likely to vote than older adults with at least a master's degree earning a $100K-plus family income.

The connection between having at least a high school education and getting out to the polls is something that civics and government teachers think about every day. How do you encourage students to see politics as relevant?

Youth Radio stopped by a government class at Skyline High School in Oakland, California. On the board was written, “June 5, Election Day.” The teacher, James Richter, asked his students, “Why do you think so many people don’t vote?”

He got answers like, “Because it doesn’t affect them,” and “Because it’s not the presidential election.”

Gregory Belvin, 18, told us about his opinions on civic engagement. 

Video produced by Chaz Hubbard.

Originally published on, the premier source for youth generated news throughout the globe.

Youth Radio/Youth Media International (YMI) is youth-driven converged media production company that delivers the best youth news, culture and undiscovered talent to a cross section of audiences. To read more youth news from around the globe and explore high quality audio and video features, visit