WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: YOUTH VOTERS IN THE MIDTERMS

Articles From the Editors

By Callan Shore 

Throughout history, it has disproportionally been the older generations who have turned out to vote on election days, especially for the midterm elections. Younger people have tended to not make the effort to vote or to not understand the importance of voting. In the 2014 midterms only 20 percent of people ages 18-29 voted, according to the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement. On Nov. 6 of this year, halfway through Trump’s presidency, dozens of house, senate, and gubernatorial seats were up for election.

Activists of all ages, knowing that this midterm election was especially crucial, orchestrated campaigns on social media to encourage young people to show up at the polls. They made satirical videos, such as one where older people told young voters that they are unimportant, and spread information to make election day easy and straightforward.

It is unclear whether this social media movement was the catalyst, but a historic number of youth sent in absentee ballots or turned up to vote on Nov. 6. The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement released polls showing an almost 11 percent increase in youth voting from the 2014 midterms. This number is higher than ever before. As shown by exit polls, 67 percent of voters under 29 voted Democratic, contributing to the Democratic takeover of the House of Representatives.

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