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Voting is a foundational act of civic engagement and one of the most critical ways—though far from the only way—that young people can contribute to our democracy. It is also one of the areas of civic life in which we see stubborn, problematic inequities that prevent us from achieving a fully representative electorate and a truly equitable democracy.

As we do in every election cycle, CIRCLE is producing comprehensive analyses of young voters in 2022. Throughout the year, we'll share exclusive data and insights on young people's views and experiences; their potential influence on the elections; what they need to be prepared to vote; and what campaigns, organizers, educators, and other stakeholders can do to foster greater and more equitable youth engagement in 2022 and beyond.

Latest 2022 Research

The Youth Vote: Data and Insights

More than 8 Million Newly Eligible Voters

There are an estimated 8.3 million newly eligible young voters for the 2022 midterm elections—meaning, youth who have turned 18 since the previous general election in November 2020. These 18- and 19-year-olds comprise 16% of the 18-29 age group for the 2022 election. They include approximately 4.5 million white youth and 3.8 million youth of color: 2 million Latinos, 1.2 million Black youth, 500,000 Asians, and 80,000 Native Americans.

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Youth Voter Registration State by State

CIRCLE is tracking the state of youth voter registration in 2022—and how it compares to similar points in the 2018 midterm cycle. Our first analysis of youth voter registration, calculated using voter files aggregated by Catalist, offers both some reasons for optimism and a call to action for campaigns and organizers: in around half of states for which we have reliable data, the number of young people (18-24) registered to vote in June 2022 trails the numbers from June 2018, especially for the newly eligible voters.

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Youth Electoral Significance Index

Too often, only a narrow group of youth are included in conversations about elections. But diverse communities of young people across the country have a critical role to play in our democracy. CIRCLE's Youth Electoral Significance Index (YESI) is a tool to direct attention and resources to young people in communities where they can have an especially high impact on election results.

The YESI is a set of data-based rankings of the races in which they have the highest potential to decisively shape the outcome. Based on more than a dozen indicators of youth demographics, registration rates, past turnout, and various other aspects of the local context in each state. the YESI highlights young people's massive electoral power and provides campaigns, organizers, and other stakeholders with a guide to where their outreach and resources can be most influential.

 

Background - Youth Voting in Recent Elections

The 2022 midterms come on the heels of two straight election cycles in which young people dramatically increased their participation at the polls and had historic levels of voter turnout. That increase in youth voting was part of a trend of increased activism and civic engagement by young people who played—and continue to play—a leading role in movements to combat climate change, gun violence, and racial injustice. To better understand the state of youth voting and civic engagement in recent years, explore our data and analyses from the 2018 and 2020 elections.

2022 Research in the News

Media Inquiries

CIRCLE experts are available to discuss our data, analyses, and insights about youth participation in the 2022 midterm elections. To ask a question, request an interview, or set up an informational conversation, email us at circle@tufts.edu.