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CIRCLE Deputy Director Abby Kiesa shared some reflections on the 50th anniversary of the voting age being lowered to 18—and the ongoing work to make elections equitable and accessible to the youngest eligible voters.
"This is one of things that I think is really important for us to think about on this 26th amendment anniversary. It's amazing that young people are taking leadership and involving other young folks in issues that are critical to our nation," shared our Deputy Director Abby Kiesa.
Further increases may be in store for future elections, says CIRCLE Deputy Director Abby Kiesa. The 2020 increase was particularly outsized among 18- and 19-year-olds, suggesting they and the sub-18 voters who will come of age in 2022 and 2024 may bring a fresh surge in numbers centered on ever-younger voters.
45 percent of young people in a recent CIRCLE poll said they took concrete action for racial justice in 2020 while 29 percent participated in a march or demonstration.
The New York Times
In Massachusetts, the turnout among registered voters between 18 to 24 had shot up to 20.9 percent in the 2020 primary from 6.7 percent in 2018, and 2.1 percent in 2016, according to Tufts’ Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement.
Roughly 50%, according to the Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) at Tufts University, a jump of 11 percentage points from 2016 and likely the highest youth voter turnout since the voting age was lowered to 18.
States that mailed ballots to every voter in the pandemic also saw not only higher overall turnout rates, but especially higher youth turnout rates.
Inside Higher Ed
Half of Americans ages 18 to 29 cast a ballot in the 2020 general election, an 11-percentage-point increase from 2016, when 39 percent did, according to a new analysis of youth voter turnout from the Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement at Tufts University.
“The earlier that a young person is engaged in civic life in some way, the more likely that they are to engage in the long term,” said Abby Kiesa, deputy director of CIRCLE.