Student Well-Being News in Brief

States See Surge in Young Voters

By Stephen Sawchuk — March 05, 2019 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

There’s an old joke in journalism that once is a fluke, two’s a coincidence, and three’s a trend. But what do you call 17 data points all tilting in the same direction?

You might have what can genuinely be called a youth voting surge: New data show that voting rates in the 2018 midterm elections for 18- to 29-year-olds increased in all 17 states studied so far by the Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, or CIRCLE, at Tufts University.

“I think this is an early indicator showing that, at least in states with competitive statewide races, youth turnout was higher, and usually that outpaced general turnout,” said Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg, CIRCLE’s director.

CIRCLE has done yeoman’s work collecting and analyzing the results of the midterm elections for the youth-turnout patterns. Its latest results put the phenomenon in greater context than before. (Some figures differ slightly from the earlier analyses because of updates to population estimates.)

Here are a few of the findings:

• Except for Louisiana, all the states had increases of at least 8 percentage points; many had increases in the double digits.

• Montana had a huge surge of more than 24 percent over its 2014 midterm results for that age group. That may be partly because it had a competitive U.S. Senate race. (Also, because it has a small population, small changes in voter behavior can have a bigger impact than in more populous states.)

• Youth turnout rates surpassed general turnout rates in all but two states, Oklahoma and New Mexico.

So what’s up with Louisiana? It’s not entirely clear, but the state has long had low voter-turnout rates; it also did not have a single statewide race, and all incumbents won re-election.

Did the extraordinary youth activism after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre affect matters? Possibly. While we don’t have a good sense of how the subset of 18- and 19-year-olds voted, we do know from CIRCLE polling data that youths ages 18-24 who were actively involved with or agreed with the #neveragain activism were much more likely to say they’d voted.

A version of this article appeared in the March 06, 2019 edition of Education Week as States See Surge in Young Voters


Jobs Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.
English-Language Learners Webinar English Learners and the Science of Reading: What Works in the Classroom
ELs & emergent bilinguals deserve the best reading instruction! The Reading League & NCEL join forces on best practices. Learn more in our webinar with both organizations.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Teaching Webinar
Challenging the Stigma: Emotions and STEM
STEM isn't just equations and logic. Join this webinar and discover how emotions fuel innovation, creativity, & problem-solving in STEM!
Content provided by Project Lead The Way

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Student Well-Being Q&A A Superintendent Explains Why Her District Is Suing Social Media Companies
Student mental health and behavioral issues have become a major drain on district resources as social media use has risen.
3 min read
Teenage girl looking at smart phone
Student Well-Being Opinion When Students Feel Unlucky, Teachers Can Help Change That Attitude
Mindsets matter when it comes to thinking about opportunity. Here’s what new research finds.
Paul A. O'Keefe
2 min read
Images shows a stylized artistic landscape with soothing colors.
Student Well-Being A Mental Health Screening Saved Students’ Lives in This District
A district that deployed a universal mental health screening was able to intervene immediately with five students who had suicide plans.
4 min read
Vector illustration of a counselor or psychologist holding a clipboard in one hand and an umbrella above in the other over an anxious woman who is tucking her head into her knees with a tangled line hovering above her head.
Student Well-Being Parents Worried About Their Kids' Mental Health See the Fix in New Schooling Options
Parents who say they are considering a change to their children's education identify mental health as a driving factor, a new report shows.
5 min read
Student walking down the stairs at her school.
iStock / Getty Images Plus