Turnout Curve: California’s Youth Simply Don’t Vote

AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster
AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

A newly-released graph from the California political firm Political Data, which was acquired by the Washington Post, has revealed that an overwhelming proportion of the Golden State’s young population (20s to 30s) simply does not turn up to vote.

The findings somewhat demonstrate the viability of claims that the group designated as “Millennials” (those born between 1981-1999) are removed and complacent about what is truly a privilege and also seen as a basic right of passage into the discourse that shapes the future of the nation: voting.

If you’re young and living in California, chances are you won’t be walking away with one of these:

The graph was based on voter turnout during the November 2014 midterm election in California by age. It revealed that 18 and 19-year-olds voted at a far higher rate than their other “millennial” counterparts. The curve also showed that, with age, voter turnout steadily increased, a sign which the Post posits could have something to do with economic stability. Those who are older are likely more established in their career paths, have a steadier income, and are less likely to move frequently. As the ages increased on the graph, so did the voting percentage along with it.

Both the graph and the Post also point out that newly-registered voters (hence the 18 and 19-year-olds) tend to turn up more frequently to vote. The study also looked at racial demographics. (California is among the most racially-diverse places in the world.) The graph found that white voters tended to vote more heavily than Asians, Blacks and Latinos overall. Republicans also turned out more heavily.

Follow Adelle Nazarian on Twitter: @AdelleNaz.


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