Apr 20, 2023 - Politics

Michigan had country's highest youth turnout in 2022 midterms

Voters inside Pasteur Elementary School on Detroit's west side. Photo: Samuel Robinson/Axios

Michigan had the highest youth voter turnout in the country (37%) last year, according to a new report from researchers at Tufts University.

Why it matters: Nationally, the voter turnout for people between the age of 18 and 29 was 23% in 2022.

  • That's a lower turnout than in the record-breaking mid-2018 cycle (28%) but much higher than in 2014, when only 13% of youth voted.
  • Young people typically vote in fewer numbers than other age groups.

State of play: Researchers found that young voters prioritized abortion while older voters prioritized inflation.

  • Young voters were the only age group to cite abortion as the issue that most influenced their vote, according to Edison Research National Election Pool exit poll data cited in the report.

Between the lines: Many states with the highest youth turnout have voting policies like automatic and same-day registration that make it easier for young people to register.

  • Minnesota, Maine, Oregon and Colorado were also above 30%.

Zoom in: In Michigan, 2018's Proposal 3 gave voters no-reason absentee and same-day voter registration.

  • Total turnout in the November election was the highest for a midterm election in state history.

What they're saying: "The work we did last year to gather voting information specific to students and share tips to engage our peers supports a rise in youth voting in our state," Rose Reilly, a University of Michigan student and member of the Collegiate Student Advisory Task Force, said in a statement.

  • "We hope that the knowledge we gained and shared in our policy change recommendations contribute to a continuing trend of future youth voter turnout increases."
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