Despite record numbers, and a steady increase - 3 cycles running - the youth vote still faces many challenges when compared to the record of consistent voting from those age 65 +. Why? Many ideas. This is probably the closest to truth.
Look at this problem from a marketing perspective. If you were Nike and you were selling a sneaker, you would do whatever it took to get your product in front of your target audience, get them into the store, and buy your product. You wouldn't ignore your target market and then whine about the fact that no one was buying your shoes. The same is true for young people and voting. If we want them to get to the polls, we have to put our resources behind efforts to register them, and we have to make our product (voting/democracy) readily and easily available to them.Connery (who I worked with for several months on the MyDD diary rescue project, and found solid respect for) is the author of Youth to Power: How Today's Young Voters Are Building Tomorrow's Progressive Majority and proprietor of the Future Majority.
As demographics and means of political access change, his work is increasingly important. Not simply for understanding how to better win elections, but how to better engage the literal future of our country in deciding our countries theoretical and immediate future through political involvement.