Common Cause: Millennials Active, But Not Voting – What Gives?


Common Cause recently published a report based on one question: Why is it that Millennials are politically active, but don’t vote?

The report, titled, “Turning In and Turning Out” begins:

In every election, young Americans arguably have more at stake than any other group of citizens, simply because they have longer to live with the choices we all make.

But throughout our history, including in every election since the 26th Amendment lowered the voting age to 18 in 1971, voter turnout among younger Americans has lagged well behind that in every other age group. Worse yet, with just a few exceptions, youth turnout has declined steadily. About half of voters aged 18-24 went to the polls in 1972, the first presidential election under the 26th Amendment; only 38 percent voted in 2012, the most recent presidential year.

The entire piece can be read on the Common Cause website.

Common Cause also put together a list of ways to increase voter registration among younger voters. They included:

  • Every state should have a robust program to pre-register 16- and 17-year-olds so that they are added to the voter rolls¬†automatically on their 18th birthdays.
  • States should provide easy-to-access mechanisms for online voter registration.
  • States should follow the lead of Oregon, California, West Virginia, Vermont, and Connecticut in automatically registering eligible citizens doing business at Department of Motor Vehicle and other state offices.
  • Eligible citizens should be permitted to register and vote on the same day, including on Election Day; that option is now available in over a dozen states, and efforts to extend it continue.



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