Sanders urges New Hampshire college students to vote Tuesday
Sen. Bernie Sanders urged a group of students at the University of New Hampshire on Sunday to vote, saying this week’s election is the most important midterm election in U.S. history.
The independent U.S. senator’s message for young voters: “Bring your friends and your family members and your coworkers out. Let us stand up for justice. Let us stand up for democracy. Let us win on Tuesday.”
Sanders spoke in front of a large crowd at a get-out-the vote rally on UNH’s Durham campus that was organized by the New Hampshire Youth Movement and Rights and Democracy.
Sanders, who is considering whether to seek the presidency in 2020, also attended pre-election rallies in his home state of Vermont, where he is up for re-election Tuesday to his third term in the Senate.
During the UNH appearance, Sanders complimented younger Americans for being what he called the most progressive generation in the history of the United States. But he also pointed out that historically, young people don’t vote as often.
“So my message to you today is a very simple message,” he said. “Make your voices. Make your views heard. Start electing people who will stand and fight for what you believe in.”
Sanders noted the low voter turnout in the 2014 midterm elections, saying that “two out three Americans didn’t vote. Young people barely voted at all. And what was the result? The result was in Washington, Republicans did extraordinary well, controlling the U.S. Senate and controlling the U.S. House.”
Sanders warned that “if we are not vigorous in getting out the vote in this election, no doubt in my mind that Republicans will once again attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act and do away with the protections for pre-existing conditions and that is some(thing) that we cannot allow.”
Pointing to the nation’s current divisive political climate, Sanders also stressed that the midterm election was about more than the economy and health care, saying “it is about who we are as a people.”
He didn’t discuss the next race for the White House, but Sanders did take aim at Republican President Donald Trump, arguing that “we’re seeing a significant increase in hate crimes all across this country because Trump has opened the door and allowed that hatred to come back.”
Jayne Cousins, who was in the audience, told The Associated Press that she voted for Sanders in the 2016 primaries and that as of now, she’ll “absolutely vote for him” again if he runs in 2020.