(CIRCLE) — New estimates of youth voter turnout in the 2022 midterm elections highlight major variations and inequities in young people’s electoral participation across the country. Youth turnout ranged from as high as 37% in some states to as low as 13% in others.
These new estimates are out today from the Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) at Tufts University’s Tisch College of Civic Life, the preeminent national research center on youth voting. They are based on voter file data from 39 states for which age-specific voter file data has been aggregated by Catalist. We define turnout as the percentage of all voting-eligible youth (as opposed to just registered youth), ages 18-29, who cast a ballot in 2022.
According to this new data, Michigan (37%), Maine, Minnesota, Oregon (all 36%), Colorado (33%), and Pennsylvania (32%) had the highest youth turnout rates in the country. Louisiana (16%), Oklahoma, Indiana, Alabama (all 15%), West Virginia (14%), and Tennessee (13%) had the lowest youth turnout rates. CIRCLE’s analyses suggest that, along with issues and electoral competitiveness, election laws may be playing a central role in shaping whether youth cast a ballot in national elections.