WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — On Saturday, representatives for almost every Democratic candidate had a stand at Raccoon River Park in West Des Moines, ready to make their pitch to youth voters.
“We really wanted it to be that open, easy, personable interaction, that face to face that you don’t necessarily get when you go to a rally or an event that feels a little more staged and prepared,” said Ashly Banta, vice chair of Polk County Democrats.
Future voters felt that in a race with so many options, this was an easy way to get information without having to travel from event to event.
“I think it’s pretty educational because there are so many different people asking about so many different candidates, and I just personally didn’t know much about them. So, it was kind of nice to know all the information I didn’t know previously,” said Alan Imamovic.
The voters at the event even got a visit from presidential candidate and Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan, who is trying to make inroads in a very crowded field.
“I’ve traditionally always tried to reach out to the young people and try to get them more engaged. I mean when you look at the challenges of the future, whether it’s entrepreneurship, innovation, new ways of teaching or new ways of providing healthcare, the need of new young farmers to come in due to the age of farmers today. We need these young people to be involved in every aspect of our society and we need them to be motivated and inspired if we’re going to solve some of these really big challenges,” said Ryan.
Some of the youth at the event felt the need to be engaged, even if they will be too young to vote in the 2020 election.
“I just think it’s important so when I am old enough to vote I’ll know what I need to look for in candidates. It’s just really cool to be in person and I guess just talk to them and figure out what they are most strong about and why they’re running,” said Carolyne Carstens.
Polk County Democrats say they will be looking to hold more events in this style as the campaign season goes on.