Youth activists in Arizona have plans for Election Day, but won't take part in national walkout

PHOENIX (KSAZ) -- Young people have been more vocal than ever before for this election season, as groups like March For Our Lives are organizing hundreds of walkouts across the nation. to get more young people to the polls on Tuesday.

Since the school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, the youth's passion to make political change hasn't died down. In Arizona, an estimated 25,000 students, parents and gun control advocates came out here in protest at the State Capitol in Downtown Phoenix in March, demanding gun background checks, a ban on bump stocks, and $360 million to hire more counselors and social workers.

Jordan Harb and his classmates say the fight for keeping schools safe continues, and has expanded beyond gun control.

"Things like increasing mental health support in schools, more counselors," said Harb.

In Arizona, activists say they will not take part in a nationwide student walkout on Election Day. However, work has been going on to register new voters in the state. Those efforts have translated to more than double the number of newly registered Arizona voters for this election, compared to the midterm elections in 2014.

"The majority of new voters this year have been millennials," said Harb.

Overall, GOP voters remain the majority in Arizona, but there are more new Democrats registered this year than Republicans. For those ages 18 to 24, more than 100,000 have registered this year. As for why they are not walking out of class on Tuesday, activists say it's a respectful agreement between the students and staff at their high school.

"It's been a mutual thing," said Harb. "Walkouts are disruptive, disrupt class time, and ultimately, young people are already voting."

Activists say they will still encourage eligible students who have yet to vote to go to the polls on Tuesday, but in a way that does not disrupt class time.

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