The March for Our Lives demonstrations across the nation on Saturday had an even more important impact than just making headlines and continuing the conversation about gun reform. Thousands were registered to vote, and many of those new registrees were born in 1999 and 2000.
The organization HeadCount, a nonpartisan group that registers young voters at concerts, partnered with March for Our Lives organizers and sent close to 1,000 volunteers to register marchers in Washington, D.C.
HeadCount spokesman Aaron Ghitelman said volunteers were coming back with 10 to 20 filled-out voter forms each. And the young people who filled out those forms are from all over the country.
As of Sunday, Ghitelman said they had registered approximately 4,800 people across the country.
“That’s a really invigorating number,” Ghitelman says of the Washington returns. “I mean, damn, that’s awesome.”
“Let’s take this to our local legislators and let’s take this to midterm elections,” says David Hogg, one of the survivors of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, who helped organize the march. “Because without the persistent heat, without the persistence of voters and Americans everywhere getting out to every election, democracy will not flourish.”
Diane Burrows, a leader of the organizations League of Women Voters in New York, says her group registered more than 150 voters in New York alone, where 74 of those 150 people were born in 1999 or 2000. And about half of the volunteers had yet to turn in their registration forms and were expected to bring them in next week, so that number could be much greater.
“The engagement has really increased, and I think it’s an awareness,” says Burrows. “People are really understanding the power of the vote, and that’s what’s really motivating a lot of them. They’re figuring out the importance and power of civic engagement.”