Young people have always been more hip to technology and the Internet than their parents – and usually more politically out of it.

But with the emergence of technology as an organizing tool in the presidential campaign, young voters are turning their expertise in all things digital into a real-life voice in elections.

Pointing to the record-shattering youth turnouts in the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primaries, experts and young political types give credit in part to social networking and text messaging, saying they’ve helped young voters get involved more than at any time since the Vietnam era.

Other factors, such as the Iraq war and the appeal of nontraditional candidates such as Barack Obama, are part of the youth boom. And technology is still no substitute for real-life interaction in driving votes.

But it has eased interaction and removed obstructions like cost and time and effort to learn about candidates and get involved.

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