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The Youth Vote Matters in Iowa, So Will They Actually Vote?

DES MOINES, Iowa -- A new study released Friday by NBC News shows that just a third of millennials plan to vote on Tuesday’s election.

Nextgen Iowa, a group encouraging youth to vote across the state, says if one third of millennials head to the poll it’s a win.

“What I think is so funny is that they say that in such a negative way but I actually think that's such a positive thing, because youth turnout in previous years, especially in midterm elections has actually been way, way lower than that” said Nextgen Iowa’s Youth Director Haley Hager.

According to the poll, only 31% of millennials say they will definitely vote, and while that's lower than the percentage of youth voters who cast their ballot in the general election, it's almost 10% higher than the last midterm election cycle.

“If you actually look at some of the early vote numbers from Iowa State University there's been three time as many students that have early voted in less amount of days than in 2014” said Hager.

Youth votes in Iowa matter, Tufts University found that Iowa’s First Congressional District race is the number one race in the country that can be impacted by the youth vote.  Meanwhile, the governor's race ranks as number nine. Students at Grand View University say they know they can make a difference at the polls.

“Most of the people that I surround myself with and the people in my life, a lot of those people did not vote in the general 2016 election and they regret that” said Carlos Rodriguez

“I mean especially as a woman it's something we worked hard for and get a right to do and think that it's an important thing to do as a citizen” said Molly Cox.

According to the NBC survey, the leading reason youth stay home from the polls is the perception they don’t feel well represented by leaders in government, Rodriguez says that shouldn't be an excuse.

“I think in those instances we should go out and ask candidates about thing things we care about and how they stand on them, because if they don't say anything about it maybe they haven't been asked” he said.

According to the NBC poll which was done in partnership with a group called GenForward, 19% of millennials say they either will probably not, or definitely not vote. 23% say they are uncertain.

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