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Teen voters excited for election



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According to the Salt Lake County Clerk's office, 18-to 25- year-olds is the least represented of any age group among voters. The county clerk is working to increase that number by reaching out to high schools. We found some 18-year-olds who can't wait to cast their ballot.

There are two seniors in a Rowland Hall High School Psych class who are a little different from their fellow classmates. Matt Bishop is 18 years old, and Ben Hannon will be soon. Though the oldest in their class, they'll be among the youngest voters in the country.

"It's a big step towards being an adult, and turning 18 in a voting year is pretty cool," Bishop said.

Bishop and Hannon let us follow as they registered at the Salt Lake County Clerk's Office. "I think this is a big election for the young voter, and I really do think the 18-year-old crowd is going to get out there and represent themselves," Bishop said.

"This year has a really big potential to change things that have happened in the past eight years," Hannon said.

After the paperwork was completed, County Clerk Sherrie Swensen talked with them. She has made it a priority to reach out to young voters. "We did a high school voter registration drive in May and visited every high school in Salt Lake," she said.

At Brighton High 'Vote 18' was in classes today; it's an organization that works with high school students to increase political awareness and get eligible students registered.

Back at Rowland Hall, Bishop and Hannon feel privileged to participate in this presidential election. Their classmates won't get the chance until 2012.

"It makes you feel older and more mature then the rest of your friends, even if you aren't, ha," Hannon said.

Both student voters have already decided which candidate they're voting for, but neither is going to tell.

The deadline for first time voters to register is October 6th by mail, October 20th in person.

E-mail: abutterfield@ksl.com

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Amanda Butterfield

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