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Researchers: Higher Youth Voter Turnout In 2018 Could Foreshadow Strong 2020 Turnout

 A pile of Nevada voter registration forms, stickers and mints.
Mikayla Whitmore
The Nevada Independent
Volunteers speak with students during a voter registration drive on the University of Nevada Las Vegas campus in 2019.

Lee en español.

Turnout rates for 18- and 19-year-old voters in Nevada’s 2018 election were higher than the turnout rate of older millennials — a trend that could have major implications for the 2020 election.

According to research on youth turnout from the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE), the overall 2018 turnout rate for 18-19 year-olds in Nevada was more than 30 percent, higher than the national average of 23 percent. Nevada was the only state that had a higher turnout rate for 18- and 19-year-olds than the category of individuals ages 18-29.

Abby Kiesa, the director of impact at the CIRCLE, discussed the research in a media teleconference call on Thursday along with Carolyn DeWitt, the executive director of the non-profit, voter turnout organization Rock the Vote.

“Youth have incredible power to decide this election,” DeWitt said, pointing out that members of the millennial generation and voting-eligible Generation Z (ages 18-33) comprise roughly 40 percent of the electorate across the United States and could have the ability to sway local and national elections.

DeWitt also said Nevada’s young population is experiencing a demographic shift that may result in different voting outcomes.

“There is an increased Latino population among 18- and 19-year-olds [in Nevada],” she said. “The issues and the attacks on immigration, that being a particularly personal issue for a lot of young Latinos in that area, could have been a driving factor [for the increase in Latino voters].”

Visit The Nevada Independent for the complete story.

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