Earlier this summer, CIRCLE released a new factsheet on Voter Registration among Young People in Midterm Elections, summarizing historical trends and analysis about why and how young people (ages 18-29) register to vote, and why they do not.

Similar to older age groups, youth voter turnout and registration rates during midterm years are far lower than during presidential election years. Some reasons for this include differences in media coverage, the competitiveness of elections, and the intensity of voter outreach efforts. The drop in youth registration rates between a presidential election and the subsequent midterm election ranges from seven to 12 percentage points. The registration rates were 49% in 2010 and 58% in 2012.

  • Twenty-four percent of youth said that they missed the registration deadline or that they did not know how or where to register.
  • The aggregated registration rate of young people living in states with same-day registration was 6 percentage points higher than the registration rate among youth living in states without same-day registration.
  • In 2010, young people most commonly registered to vote a a Department of Motor Vehicles.
  • Youth were twice as likely to use online registration as older voters. In the states where online registration was available, 12.8% of young voters registered online.

Want further details? State-specific historical data on youth voting and registration rates are available in this map.

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