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Politicians' daughters discuss 'the missing vote'

Daughters of some of the nation's leading politicians participated in a discussion Thursday on women voters at Columbia University.
Daughters of some of the nation's leading politicians participated in a discussion Thursday on women voters at Columbia University.

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NEW YORK (CNN) -- The daughters of some leading politicians -- including some Democratic presidential hopefuls -- may not agree on who belongs in the White House, but they agree that not enough young women are engaged in the political process.

The women participated in a panel discussion titled, "The Missing Vote: Why Young Women Are Not Voting" at Columbia University.

"As I've traveled around the country, I have not seen an enormous amount of young women," said Vanessa Kerry Thursday. "I've seen some, but I don't see them in the numbers that perhaps we would all like to see them."

Vanessa Kerry is a daughter of Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts, the front-runner in the Democratic race for the White House. She was joined on the panel by her sister, Alexandra.

Also on the panel: Cate Edwards, daughter of Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina; Liz Cheney, daughter of Vice President Dick Cheney and Rebecca Lieberman, daughter of Sen. Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut.

The panelists all agreed that persuading women to cast ballots on Election Day is an uphill battle. They cited a recent study funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts and conducted by researchers at Rutgers, George Mason and DePaul universities that found only 22 percent of women between the ages of 20 to 30 describe themselves as regular voters.

"I think that women feel less secure in the economic status, their general social status," Cate Edwards said. "I feel that our generation of young women is probably going to come out in larger numbers in this next election because when I'm out there talking to people, I think that they do believe they have a voice now."

Cate Edwards is a 21-year-old senior at Princeton University majoring in political economics. Her father spoke at Columbia earlier Thursday as a part of his campaign in New York.

Vanessa Kerry is in her third year of medical school while her sister Alexandra will graduate this spring with a master's degree of fine arts from The American Film Institute.

Liz Cheney is a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. Rebecca Lieberman was president of Vote for America before resigning in May 2003 to work on her father's presidential campaign, which has since folded.

The panel was moderated by Cokie Roberts, a political commentator for ABC News.

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