Ga. youth voting turnout only 5%

Only 5% of Georgia youths under the age of 30 turn out to vote for Super Tuesday. / Jessica Fairley

While local officials prepare for future elections, they're also trying to figure out why only five percent of Georgia's youth turned out to vote.

As the numbers came in for the 2012 Super Tuesday primaries, Georgia officials found that many of those under the age of 30 didn't vote.

Officials say back in '08, President Obama had gained twice as many votes among the youth as the top three 2012 Republican candidates combined.

FOX 31 reached out to college students to find out why they did not go to the polls on Tuesday.

"I actually just didn't know that the date was on yesterday to go vote," says Jasmine Roper, a student at Albany State University.

"I personally didn't vote because I am actually registered back at home," says ASU student Sonique O'Neal.

Those are just a few of the reasons why some young people say they didn't vote.

Dr. Sophia Woodard, a Political science professor at Albany State University, says the list of reasons can go on and on.

"The important part about them understanding politics and even wanting to know about politics is understanding how they're going to benefit," says Sophia J. Woodard, Ph.D.

Students have to realize that a vote can have a direct impact on their education, finances or even healthcare. Woodard says mentors and parents have to set the tone through communication.

"Just having informal conversations, asking them the questions like have you been watching the news lately? Have you paid attention to the primaries," explained Dr. Woodard.

She says those who are informed should lead by example, showing the youth that they can volunteer at the polls or support in other ways. The instructor believes it's also up to city leaders and mentors to reach out to the youth.

"I think because that kind of an effort was not put forth to extent that we are capable of doing as a community, it did have an direct impact on the number being so low," Sophia Woodward said.

It's something that she says will have to change before the next election.