The 2018 mid-term elections are on the way, and with many states projecting close races, it’s very important that people vote and get a say in how their government works. However, young voters are notorious for sitting out during mid-term elections. One group hopes to change that by using therapy dogs to encourage voter registration among college students. They’re calling the event “Pups to the Polls.”
NextGen America brought the pups to the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus this summer and invited returning students to give some pets and get registered. The group has hosted similar events in past elections with the hope of encouraging the youth vote, and they’re currently staging events in 11 battleground states, focusing on college campuses. While registering doesn’t guarantee someone will vote, it is an important first step and helps get the word out about the elections in November. NextGen hopes to register at least 122,000 young people to vote.
Considering that the mid-term election of 2014 saw the lowest turnout of 18- to 24-year-old voters in 40 years, anything that encourages young Americans to participate in the democratic process is a good thing. Since that election, 15 million new voters age 18 to 21 became eligible to vote, though whether they show up at the polls this time around remains to be seen. As dog lovers, we’re more likely to do just about anything when there are adorable, friendly pups to pet. No matter which way you vote, maybe we can all find common ground in our love for our canine companions.
Do you think “Pups to the Polls” events will encourage young people to vote? Would you be happy to pet therapy dogs when you register? Let us know in the comments below!