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Thousands of Iowa College Students to Rock the Caucus

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For Immediate Release Contacts: Sujatha Jahagirdar 323-309-6120 cell

January 3, 2008 Ellynne Bannon 202-468-7635 cell Kirpal Singh 720-273-4179 cell

Thousands of Iowa College Students to Rock the Caucus

Despite hurdles, young Iowans rally to mobilize their peers

Today, 250 Iowa PIRG student leaders are calling, texting, and throwing Rock the Caucus parties at caucus locations across the state to rally thousands of their peers to turn out to vote. Despite the date of the caucuses and recent suggestions that some Iowa youth shouldn’t caucus, young Iowans are gearing up to participate in the nation’s first Presidential contest of 2008. "Thousands of my peers are mobilizing today - taking time off from work, driving hundreds sometimes even thousands of miles to get to their caucus locations. It may be winter break, but students are working overtime,” said Ryan Crane, a ‘Caucus Rock Star’ student leader with Iowa PIRG. Background on Iowa PIRG’s Rock the Caucus campaign. Background: Iowa Student Leaders Decry Calls for Disenfranchisement.

“Young people represent one-quarter of the U.S. electorate. We’re the generation that will be most affected by critical issues like global warming so we’re turning out tonight to make sure that the candidates pay attention to us and the issues that we care about the most,” said Ellynne Bannon, Director of Iowa PIRG’s New Voters Project.

The youth vote is critical to the Iowa caucuses. In 2004, youth represented nearly one-fifth of the total turnout in the Democrat caucus and the winning margin was just 6 percent. All indications are that the Iowa caucuses will be tight races and every vote will be crucial. In two of the past four Republican caucuses, when incumbents weren't running unopposed, the winner was decided by less than 3,000 votes.

Below is schedule of Rock the Caucus parties for the day and a partial list of Iowa PIRG’s New Voters Project spokespeople who will be on call for insight into the Iowa youth vote.

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Caucus Night Schedule of Caucus Precinct Parties

Student volunteers with Iowa PIRG’s Rock the Caucus campaign will be at numerous student-heavy caucus locations throwing Rock the Caucus parties – with their peers, party hats, blow-horns, signs, and t shirts – rocking the caucuses and celebrating their vote. Caucus Rock Stars - student leaders who have been working to mobilize their peers to participate in the caucuses will be available for interviews at the caucus parties.

Iowa City, IA
5:45 - 6:20 Democratic Precincts 3 and 5 - University of Iowa, Iowa Memorial Union
6:30 - 7:00 Republican Precincts 3 and 5 - University of Iowa, Iowa Memorial Union

Cedar Falls, IA
5:45-6:20 Democratic Ward 4 Precinct 3; Ward 3 Precinct 3 -, Schindler Education Center, 2300 Indiana St.
6:30 -7:00 Republican Ward 4 Precinct 3; Ward 3 Precinct 3 - 1350 Katoski Drive, (Waterloo IA)

Ames, IA
5:45 - 6:20 Democratic Precincts 22, 43, 44, 45 - Iowa State University, Memorial Union
6:30 - 7:00 Republican Precincts 43, 44, 45 - St Andrews Church, 209 Colorado St.

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Des Moines, IA
5:45 - 6:20 Democratic Precinct 45, Drake University, Olin Hall; Precinct 47, Ingham Hall
6:30 - 7:00 Republican Precinct 45 - King Elementary 1849 Forest Ave; Precincts 47th-49th Perkins Elementary School 4301 College

Iowa PIRG’s New Voters Project Spokespeople

Ellynne Bannon is the Director of Iowa PIRG’s and the Student PIRGs’ New Voters Project. For more than ten years, Ms. Bannon has been organizing on youth issues, mobilizing young people to vote, and training the next generation of social change leaders. Prior to becoming the director in 2007, Ms. Bannon was the chief advisor to the U.S. House of Representatives Education and Labor Committee on higher education and national service issues. She also served as the Youth Vote Coalition’s Chair of the Board of Directors. 202-468-7635 (cell)

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Ellynne Bannon is the director of Student PIRGs' New Voters Project.

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