PHOENIX— September 1, 2021

PHOENIX—Sept. 1, 2021—Arizona’s only non-partisan voter education program led by the Citizens Clean Elections Commission (CCEC) announces a unique partnership with KJZZ's Spot127 Youth Media Center, dedicated to training the next generation of storytellers using digital media. The video series project titled Shaping Your Future; The How, What and Why of Voting will be a collection of three original videos researched, written and produced by Spot127 youth participants. The students explore voting and election-related issues from their point of view as first-time voters or soon-to-be voters. The first video was launched today and can be viewed on the CCEC website.

"All of our program participants bring unique life experiences to this project and elections are a timely topic that captivated them from the start," said Spot127 Senior Instructor, Trevor Gahona and advisor on the Shaping Your Future; The How, What and Why of Voting series. "This series is designed to be a platform for our students to interpret and to present voter-related issues to their peers, in their own voices and from their view on the world."

The first video covers aspects of misinformation, experiences with voting for the first time and even the underlying pressures youth feel about 'fixing the future'. This first production is one of a total of three videos in the series scheduled to be distributed between now and the end of the year.

“This young group of first-time voters shared their experience in participating in our elections, including their observations on the election process and voter topics. We at the CCEC believe Arizona voters of all ages can learn a lot from them,” said Citizens Clean Elections Commissioner Damien Meyer.

Research shows that voting at an early age increases the likelihood of continued civic involvement in adult years. While the legal age to register to vote is 18, historically voters in the 18-29 age group register to vote at much lower rates which is one reason that the CCEC makes a concerted effort to reach young voters through a variety of programs geared toward them.

"Peer to peer education works for this age group; we anticipate that the authenticity of the Spot127 stories will resonate with others their age and pique interest about civic engagement and inspire participation," said CCEC Voter Education Director Gina Roberts.

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