Researchers: 2020 could be the year of the young voter

ORLANDO, Fla. — Florida has seen a surge of young voters this election season, ranking second out of 14 key states measuring such an increase.

New research from Tufts University shows that in 32 of the 40 states where the data is available, voter registration among young people is higher now than it was in 2016.

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Tufts University’s Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) has been studying the turnout and researchers there say the results are promising.

Senior Researcher Rey Junco says Florida stands out among the states seeing an increase in young people at the polls.

“You have to be stunned by the data...your initial reaction is like, Wow,” Junco says.

More than 658,000 people aged 18 to 29 have already voted in the state, a significant spike from the same time in 2016.

Further, the team found younger voters have now cast more ballots in key states than the 2016 margin of victory, with Florida again showing a notable number.

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When asked why, Junco says it’s a matter of activism.

“Youth activism absolutely translates to engagement at the ballot box.”

Tufts did a pre-election poll that revealed the key issues for voters in the 18-29 age range.

“The top three answers were: the environment and climate change, racism, and affordable health care,” Junco says.

He notes the common narrative that young voters lean left simply isn’t true.

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“Youth vote choice varies quite a bit,” Junco says.

In Florida, a total of 1.2 million young people voted in 2016, and this year, close to a million of them requested mail ballots, so experts say these young voters are set to smash their 2016 turnout without a problem.