If you want to understand the turnout of young people in the 2018 midterm elections, there is good news, bad news, and more good news.
Early estimates show that young people were elected with historical votes. About 31 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds voted in the middle of the year (a significant increase of 21 percent in 2014), according to a survey by Tufts University's Information and Research Center on Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement on the Internet Performed the day after. The estimate indicates that the midterm elections were the highest participation of young voters in the past quarter century.
NextGen America, an advocacy group focused on climate change, monitored 41
Organizations like DoSomething.org and Rock the Vote plan to increase that number in time for the 2020 presidential election.
DoSomething, which usually focuses on volunteering, launched "Get-out-the-vote" for the first time this year. Texting was a major component of their program, but Aria Finger, the CEO of DoSomething.org, said it was only effective because the non-profit organization was building a lasting digital relationship with its members.
Every Tuesday DoSomething.org writes about 3 million teenagers. In the election season, the non-profit organization called them to register, and thanks to these efforts, over 100,000 new voters were registered. Finger claims that the non-profit organization is in the long run. The split times are over, but DoSomething.org plans to continue to register new voters.
Rock the Vote was founded in 1990 before the internet and social media era. Today, however, both are essential to their engagement strategy. "We firmly believe in local work, but we also reach young people where they are and they are often online," says Carolyn DeWitt, President and CEO of Rock the Vote.
DeWitt says that her main goal is to educate voters who may feel self-confident about their understanding of the democratic system.
"Young people's turnout is largely lower because young voters are new voters who are new to the process and have questions about the process and consequences of registration and voting," says DeWitt.
To address this issue, Rock the Vote has restarted the Democracy Class, a free curriculum that schools, out-of-school programs and community centers can use to teach teens the history and importance of voting. After the students have learned about the vote, they are asked to sign up for vote. Rock the Vote used the addresses of the participants who had attended the class to send personalized reminder reminders on important dates and deadlines as well as links to resources on polling stations and government policies.
Rock the Vote, DoSomething and many other organizations also host registration platforms online. The electoral system, however, remains archaic.
"We can order something on our cell phones, but in several states you still can not register to vote online, and in some states, you actually have to appear in person to register for the ballot," says DeWitt ,
DeWitt also points out the ID requirements in several federal states, which are aimed specifically at young voters. A mobile ID may sound simple at first, but in some states, voters must have a photo ID with the current address. As young people move more often than other age groups, this is a challenge. This also affects students who live on campus.
Despite these obstacles and given the early estimates, there are good reasons to hope for the future of young people's turnout in the electoral and presidential elections. The Center for American Progress reports that in the presidential election of 2020, 90 million millennials (persons born between 1978 and 2000) will have the power to cast their votes.
"The youth generation is proving to be a very powerful force that needs to be heard, demanding that leaders embrace their vision for a progressive and inclusive America, which is really important, because by 2020, it will be nearly 40 percent of voters "says DeWitt.
Although the percentage of eligible voters is large, the number within that group is lower. This is usually the case in every age group as voter turnout is low in the US. Often, however, this is a trend that affects the youth more. The United States Election Project, led by a University of Florida professor, estimates that 47 percent of voters cast a vote in Tuesday's midterm elections.
March For Our Lives activist David Hogg said best when he quoted Ariana Grande's new hit song after the split times. Young people have made extraordinary efforts to register voters and bring young people to the polls. For that we say "Thanks, next".