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Young voters impact election

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TYLER (KYTX) - Decision 2012 polls show many of the votes that pushed Obama to re-election Tuesday night came from young voters.

Voters from 18 to 29 accounted for about 19% of the voting numbers.

That's an increase from years past, and even from the last election, as they become more interested in issues that effect them.

"My opinion should be hear," says 19-year-old Hannah Pinson is a freshman at Tyler Junior College, and isn't shy to talk about why she voted.

"I don't vote for what someone's beliefs are, I vote for who can do the best for our country," says Pinson.

"It has an affect on our schooling also, and in our life," says 19-year-old Sophomore Mark Bryant.

Bryant says most of his friends didn't think twice to cast their ballot.

Election experts say some of the most important issues to young voters are social issues, from gay marriage rights, to legalization of marijuana in some states, issues which were both approved in some states in this election.

And TJC government professor David McClendon says social media keep young people informed on all issues across the board.

"The types of conversations in the classroom and types of conversations you hear in the hallway is much more active and much more engaged by students because of the ability to share information," says McClendon.

McClendon says it affects students here on campus, things like student loans and financial aid. And it's easy for the students to get connected with social media at their fingertips.

And with growing interest in issues, McClendon says their involvement will only grow.

"This is not just a one time phenomenon, it could potentially change dramatically for the future," says McClendon.

McClendon says young voters are more issue oriented, and many look at issues that affect them through their families culture.

He also says the age group from 30 to 40 has shown more interest in those type of issues as well.

CNN exit polls also show Obama got the votes of most women and minority voters as well.

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