Why should young people vote? Well, President Obama points to recent history as evidence of just how much a few hundred ballots count.
"In 2000, Gore vs. Bush, 537 votes changed the direction of history in a profound way, and the same thing could happen here," he argued.
During "Ask Obama: An MTV Interview With the President" on Friday, MTV News' Sway Calloway asked the president why young people — a typically hard group to get to the polls — needed to make an effort on Election Day. It's a question we've posed to Tom Hanks, Kid Rock, Olivia Wilde and many other celebs, but this time, the person we asked has a seriously personal stake in the matter.
"Listen, every election somebody says, 'This is the most important election.' This time it really is," Obama said. "I believe in America, we grow when everybody's got a shot and everybody's included and we work together and nobody's left out because of who they love or what they look like. As long as they're willing to work hard, they can succeed. That's the America that allowed me to sit in this place. And that's the America I want to re-create for the next generation, so I hope every young person who's listening — don't believe this idea that your vote does not matter."
Obama encourages all young people — despite their political leanings — to just exercise an act that is at the core of American citizenship.
"There' s no excuse," Obama said. "Regardless of who you vote for, folks need to get out there and vote."
Check back for up-to-the-minute coverage of the debates and stick with Power of 12 throughout the 2012 presidential election season.