Chelsea Clinton encourages voter registration during student conference call
Chelsea Clinton spoke with students across the country in honor of National Voter Registration Day Tuesday, in a phone conference about the importance of millennial participation in the upcoming presidential election.
Clinton, daughter of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, stressed the significance of college communities in elections, saying millennial-aged voters make up roughly 31 percent of the electorate.
“We are in the middle of a big push to register people and get them to go out and vote,” Clinton said. “And I hope that last night’s debate demonstrated the clear contrast between my mom and her opponent, and demonstrated what is at stake this November.”
After speaking about voter registration and the significance of voter mobilization, Clinton also fielded questions from students at universities across the country.
Clinton first addressed a question about the differences between Hillary Clinton’s education policies and President Barack Obama’s.
In her response, she said Obama does not receive enough credit for his education initiatives, also highlighting the ways Hillary Clinton aims to address education as a part of her platform.
“There are several things that my mom wants to address in regards to education policy that would build off of President Obama,” Clinton said. “For example, she wants to enable anyone and everyone to index their loan payments as a percentage of their income so that nobody has to make a professional decision to service their debt.”
During Obama’s terms, he instituted the “Pay as You Earn” plan to expand income-based repayment — a plan that caps students’ monthly loan payments based on income and family size. The program lowers monthly payments and expands the length of the repayment period.
A student on the call also asked Clinton about the best ways to motivate students to vote, given the large numbers of people who feel apathetic toward both major party candidates.
In a recent Michigan Daily poll of a sample of students on campus, though respondents indicated overwhelming support for Hillary Clinton, 13 percent also indicated support for Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson, more than the support Trump received.
“Voting is a very personal thing. ” Clinton said. “What I encourage you to do is ask people who are not inclined to vote is ‘What issues do you care about?’”
This sentiment of voter apathy resurfaced when Clinton was asked about engaging former supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) who feel disaffected and question whether Hillary Clinton is equally liberal.
“My mom has offered the most progressive platform of a major presidential candidate ever,” Clinton said. “This is apparent when you look at her record fighting for children, fighting for more investment in public schools, fighting for criminal justice reform from her time as a young lawyer until now during her campaign.”