Minnesota teens and 20-somethings headed to the polls in droves in 2018, with 43.7 percent of eligible voters under the age of 30 in the state casting ballots, according to a recent report.
The Minnesota rate was 12 percentage points above the estimated national average for young voter participation, the study by the Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement at Tufts University found. Minnesota’s young voter turnout ranked the highest of the 17 states analyzed in the report.
“A youth wave swept across Minnesota,” said Mike Dean, executive director of a college student advocacy group called LeadMN. “The 2018 election is proof that young people want to have their voices heard.”
In an election that saw Democrats regain the House of Representatives, states across the country saw a spike in young voter participation, and Minnesota was no exception. Midterm turnout among residents ages 18 to 29 jumped 20 percentage points compared with 2014.
Secretary of State Steve Simon celebrated the findings, calling empowering young voters one of his “most important responsibilities.” He credited a number of state-backed initiatives, such as mock elections and voter registration drives at high schools.
“No metric is more important to the future of our state than the participation of young people in our political process,” said Simon, a Democrat. “I am so proud of all Minnesotans for exercising their right to vote, but I am especially enthusiastic to see young Minnesotans embracing their political power.”
Minnesota routinely tops the nation in overall voter turnout. About 64 percent of eligible Minnesotans voted in 2018, marking the highest midterm turnout since 2002. Nationally, an estimated 48 percent of Americans went to the polls.