Research suggests that policies like online, automatic, and pre-registration can increase youth voter participation, especially where there is effective and equitable implementation.
Both states had above average youth turnout in 2018 and 2020, but outreach to young people—especially youth of color—remains key for November.
Through a partnership in Minneapolis, we studied how youth gain skills, contribute to their communities, and increase youth turnout by working at the polls.
Our analysis of youth voter turnout nationwide finds wide variation between states and underscores the importance of electoral laws and policies that help grow voters.
New Jersey led the region and the nation in youth voter turnout in 2020; six states in the Northeast had turnout rates above 50%.
The states with one of the highest (Minnesota) and the lowest (South Dakota) 2020 youth voter turnout are in the Midwest.
Voter turnout across the South a region where voting by mail was generally not as easy, ranged from 56% in Virginia to 34% in Oklahoma.
Electoral participation ranged from 39% to 63% in this region, where many states tried to facilitate voting by mail in 2020.
According to our survey, more than half of young people could not correctly identify whether someone with a felony conviction can vote in their state, and almost half believe those with misdemeanors can't vote, which is not true anywhere.
Both Georgia Senate races, two House races, and the presidential race in the state are in our top-10 rankings of elections where youth can influence results.