2014 set records for lowest youth registration and turnout

(Austin, TX) CIRCLE is reporting today that 19.9 percent of 18-to 29-years old cast ballots in the 2014 elections. That was the lowest rate of youth turnout recorded by Census data since the voting age was lowered to 18. The proportion of young people who said that they were registered to vote (46.7%) was also the lowest over the past forty years.

There was, however, a great deal of variation in youth turnout by state (e.g., 31% in Colorado and 15% in Texas). Since the degree to which a state had a competitive senatorial or gubernatorial race was strongly related to its youth turnout, one reason for the record-low may have been the shrinking number of competitive statewide races. Another reason could have been the slew of restrictive voting laws passed by many states between 2010 and 2013.

For more analysis, see the CIRCLE site.

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About Peter

Associate Dean for Research and the Lincoln Filene Professor of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Tufts University's Tisch College of Civic Life. Concerned about civic education, civic engagement, and democratic reform in the United States and elsewhere.