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Reaching the Youth Vote Through Facebook

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Getting young people interested in politics—and to the polls—is still a tough chore. But in this presidential race, and even in next year's governors' elections, the stakes couldn't be higher for the nation's youth, who will be affected by decisions made about education, the economy, and war.

Enter Facebook.

This hugely popular social networking site that draws millions of young people, who share thoughts, photos, and even trivia knowledge, is partnering with ABC News to bring its users political coverage. By adding the "U.S. Politics" application, Facebook users can track the political coverage and candidates through ABC News reporters, find out which presidential candidates have the most Facebook "friends" (Barack Obama is way ahead), and see what other users say their most important election-year issue is (education is ranked fourth.)

This is a brilliant idea—ABC News gets to be the official source of politics coverage for the millions of users of Facebook. And Facebook is able to offer a more engaging type of political news to an audience that's difficult to engage, through a partnership with a highly reputable news source.

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With young voter turn-out so dismally low, it is encouraging to see new tactics being used to inform and engage students about the upcoming elections. Earlier this month, NBC News and HotChalk launched the most comprehensive digital, curricular resources ever available on American presidential politics. The content, specifically for classroom instruction, offers the latest, up-to-the-minute presidential election news through a video-on-demand user interface, allowing teachers to effortlessly customize their lesson plans with compelling and relevant content to bring the election process and political issues to life. And, its online in a safe learnine environment.

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