The Knight Foundation recently released a report that examined why millennial voters overwhelmingly do not cast ballots in local elections.
Titled, “Why Don’t Millennials Vote for Mayor,” the report took a hard look at the barriers and motivators related to local elections.
Here’s a excerpt from the introduction:
Local elections are missing millions of millennial voters who participate in national elections but not ones in their cities. This led Knight Foundation to embark on research to explore factors that may be hampering turnout in local elections among millennials, focusing specifically on millennials who participated in the last national elections but not in their local elections.The research aims to identify the causes of low millennial voter turnout in local elections and possible approaches for encouraging more informed local voting which brings more citizen voice to local government.
As was highly documented, voter turnout during the 2014 midterm election was the lowest it’s been in 72 years (36.3 percent). It was even lower among millennials (21.5 percent). Turnout for local elections is even lower and declining. A study of turnout for mayoral elections in the 144 largest U.S. cities found that turnout dipped from 24.9 percent in 1999 to 21 percent in 2011.
Millennials report lower levels of trust in government than the general population. Sixty percent of people say they trust local government a great deal or fair amount compared with only 33 percent of millennial voters who reported trusting their local government a great deal or fair amount.
The report also found that there were several factors that could be affecting low voter turnout for local elections, such as:
Less local media coverage: