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America's 'Radical Elders' continue their work for fairness, justice; SCOTUS upholds law disarming domestic abusers; Workplace adoption benefits help families, communities; Report examines barriers to successful post-prison re-entry in NC.

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A congresswoman celebrates Biden protections for mixed status families, Louisiana's Ten Commandments law faces an inevitable legal challenge, and a senator moves to repeal the strict 19th century anti-obscenity and anti-abortion Comstock Act.

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A Minnesota town claims the oldest rural Pride Festival while rural educators say they need support to teach kids social issues, rural businesses can suffer when dollar stores come to town and prairie states like South Dakota are getting help to protect grasslands.

Push to mobilize young voters in rural Ohio

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Tuesday, May 28, 2024   

Ahead of November's general election, advocates in Ohio are working to boost youth voter participation.

Gen Z voters are focused on climate change and universal healthcare - but their turnout continues to lag, especially in rural regions.

Jen Miller, executive director of the League of Women Voters of Ohio, said young people need easy access to education and resources to make informed decisions.

She said engaging young voters at the local and state level on issues such as criminal justice, public transit, and community parks is crucial for improving their lives.

"Recent demographics have shown that about 20% of 18 to 24 year old voters say they're uninterested," said Miller. "I think it's really important that we help them understand how voting impacts their daily lives."

Nationwide, an estimated 60% of rural youth live in so-called 'civic deserts,' regions lacking public gathering places to meet and discuss local issues or work to solve problems.

Sixty-three percent of rural youth, or 30 million people, are infrequent or uncommitted voters, according to Rural Democracy Initiative.

Miller added that, young people face several barriers to voting - such as not registering by the deadline, not having a proper form of identification, or lack of transportation.

"We work really hard on helping young voters make their voting plan," said Miller. "First, making sure that their registration is up to date. Second, that they know how they want to vote, we help them find their polling location."

The Rural Youth Voter Fund led by Rural Democracy Initiative is investing $10 million over the next year in grants to help young voters in small towns across the nation organize and expand civic engagement.



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The 2024 Summer U.S. Conference of Mayors in Kansas City, Mo., will be under the leadership of its president, Mayor Hillary Schieve of Reno, Nev., and host Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas.
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