Candidates Give Groundbreaking Answers to Youth Concerns; Free e-Books to Increase Voter Turn Out; Roots Where First Americans Died to Vote

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Thanks for considering this media release for The New Voters Project Presidential Youth Debate. It's buffet-style, touting these hard-and-soft news hooks: 1) Bush, Kerry and Nader have answered, and rebutted, the 12 greatest concerns of young Americans, and the candidates gave responses that hadn't before been given, including answers regarding electoral and voting reform, the execution of minors and a drug provision in the Higher Education Act that the candidates deemed discriminatory, in their responses, and pledged to change. Also, for the first time in history, the candidates answered one question asked and chosen by 13-17 year-old "Future Voters" as their greatest concern. 2) We're providing Americans of all ages two free, downloadable e-books to help increase voter turnout: 1) "Why I Vote: The Best Reasons Americans Say They'll Turn Out to Vote - And Why You Should Too" which features reasons from 13-74 year olds (available on request); and 2) "Bush, Kerry and Nader, in 30 Clicks or Less: All the Nonpartisan Resources You Need to Make Your Own Informed Choice." 3) As founder of the Presidential Youth Debates, I've secured answers to youth concerns from the top candidates every Election since 1996. I'm as disenfranchised as the next young American, but have that extra push to participate in the Election because I grew up in Lexington, Massachusetts, watching Patriot's Day re-enactments of the first Americans dying in battle for my right to vote. - I have digital print-ready photos I can email (debate photos of candidates, debate logo, photo of me - the debate founder).

For More Information:

  • Fndr. Pres. Youth Debates: Anthony Tedesco (212) 353-0455
  • New Voters Project: Ivan Frishberg (202) 487-6064
  • KE04 Spokesperson: Jin Chon, 202-464-2800
  • BC04 Spokesperson: Sharon Castillo (703) 647-2790    
  • Please note: we also have contact info for two people who got their questions answered; they've agreed to field questions. For both, 2004 will be their first Presidential Election. And both are in swing states.

CANDIDATES ANSWER YOUTH CONCERNS CHOSEN AS MOST IMPORTANT TO THEM

IN THE NEW VOTERS PROJECT PRESIDENTIAL YOUTH DEBATE

Young Americans Get the Candidate Answers They Need

to Vote Nov. 2nd for the Future They Want

(Washington, DC, Oct. 29th) - Bush, Kerry and Nader have responded to the 12 previously unanswered questions asked and chosen by 18-35 year olds as their greatest concerns, including one question specifically asked and chosen by 13-17 year-old "Future Voters" as the question that they most wanted answered. "We've included one question from America's Future Voters," explains Anthony Tedesco, founder of the Presidential Youth Debates, "because studies have shown that if you get them involved early enough that they vote in their first eligible election, then they're far more likely to become lifelong voters."

The youth debate has also included a "Future Voter" section in their free get-out-the-vote book "Why I Vote: The Best Reasons Americans Say They'll Turn Out to Vote - And Why You Should Too." With the help of AOL@School and in-school publisher Planet Report, the book has reached close to 10 million high school students nationwide. Americans of all ages can still GET POLITICAL & PUBLISHED by submitting reasons they feel it's important to vote right up until January 1st, when the pre-Election ebook will be made into a paperback available in bookstores nationwide as a permanent resource. 100 percent of royalties will benefit nonprofit youth advocacy groups. A copy of the ebook is available free at http://youthdebate.newvotersproject.org - submissions are accepted there, too.

A second free ebook is being offered through the youth debate as well, to help increase youth voter turnout. "Bush, Kerry and Nader, in 30 Clicks or Less: All the Nonpartisan Resources You Need to Make Your Own Informed Choice" will hopefully overcome what young people cited in the Declare Yourself Youth Vote 2004 survey as their greatest stumbling block to voting: not knowing enough about the candidates.

"The New Voters Project Presidential Youth Debate has given young voters answers that hadn't been given in other forums," Tedesco said. Answers, for example, regarding electoral and voting reform, the execution of minors and provisions in the Higher Education Act that the candidates acknowledged were discriminatory, in their responses, and pledged to change. Fifteen youth advocates and nonpartisan organizations narrowed the question pool down to the 20 previously unanswered ones that best reflected what polls had shown as most important to young Americans. Then it was up to the youth. They chose the final questions answered.

Everyone put aside their differences to help the debate increase youth voter turnout. It was primarily funded by The New Voters Project, but generous support poured in from many groups as diverse as Simon & Schuster and World Wrestling Entertainment, and as competitive as American Online and Comcast. Through over 30 of the world's largest media and marketing companies, The New Voters Project Presidential Youth Debate has already reached nearly 20 million young Americans and 65 million Americans of all ages, and received over 5,000 questions for the candidates in a matter of days. The Presidential Youth Debates have also garnered exposure in hundreds of media venues nationwide, including CNN, Good Morning America and MTV's Choose or Lose, who reported that "The Presidential Youth Debate is giving the young electorate an important platform to help them make a decision in 2004 ... outlining the issues important to an age group that will be voting for a long time to come."

Readers can view the New Voters Project Presidential Youth Debate and get the free "Why I Vote" book at http://youthdebate.newvotersproject.org, along with the free book "Bush, Kerry and Nader in 30 Clicks or Less."

ROOTS WHERE FIRST AMERICANS IN BATTLE DIED TO VOTE

Three weeks before the 1996 Presidential Election, Anthony Tedesco again found himself struggling for motivation to vote. He knew the presidential candidates would continue to neglect issues of particular concern to America's youth - the demographic with the lowest voter turnout - which would only have the effect of further decreasing turnout of young voters. So he decided to do something about it. He placed a call to The White House, and specifically requested that President Clinton "participate in a Presidential Youth Debate so young people could get the answers they need to vote for the future they want." President Clinton agreed, as did Republican challenger Bob Dole, and Tedesco has been producing Presidential Youth Debates every Election since then.

"I don't think anyone can grow up in Lexington, Massachusetts, and not feel a little extra push to participate in elections," said Tedesco. “My parents always took my brother and I to the Battlegreen for Patriot's Day re-enactments where every year we'd watch the first Americans die in battle for my right to vote. It definitely affected me."

With young Americans expected to turn out to vote in record numbers this Election, and recent polls showing that as many as 20 percent are still undecided, the candidates were extremely eager to reach this possible swing demographic. "I would like to thank The New Voters Project Presidential Youth Debate and Anthony Tedesco," wrote Senator Kerry, "for allowing me the opportunity to address the concerns of the youth of today because they are the leaders of tomorrow." President Bush described himself as "excited to be participating in this online debate, because it engages young people and challenges them to think about the issues and the leadership that will affect the future of our country." Ralph Nader, too, expressed his gratitude for the youth debate, noting that he was the first non-major party candidate who qualified for participation by meeting the criteria set forth by The Appleseed Citizens' Task Force on Fair Debates.

SAMPLE REASONS FROM FREE "WHY I VOTE" E-BOOK

Christie G. of NC; age 13

"I know that I'm too young to vote in this election or even the next one, but I still feel that understanding what’s going on in America today is important to people my age. The issues that we face today will be affecting us for the rest of our lives. We need to focus now so that when we hold the future of America in our hands, we'll be ready."

Mae S., age 64:

"It's what my brother fought and died for... so we could have the freedom to vote."

Thanks again.

Anthony

212-353-0455

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Anthony Tedesco
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