The Youth Vote: how young Americans shaped democracy in the 19th century

Listen 00:48:45

Guests: Jon Grinspan, Abby Kiesa

Voter turnout among young Americans has been high this election year.  Bernie Sanders in particular has motivated droves of young supporters. But it’s not just the Democrats — young people have also turned out in record numbers to vote in Republican primaries.  Smithsonian historian JON GRINSPAN says that in the mid-19th century young people were a driving force in the democratic process, and voted in record numbers.  He talks to Marty about his new book The Virgin Vote: How Young American Made Democracy, Social, Politics Personal and Voting Popular in the Nineteenth Century that chronicles this period of high youth engagement.  Then, we turn to the youth vote in the 2016 election with guest ABBY KIESA, youth coordinator and researcher at CIRCLE (The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement) based at Tufts University.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.