Morrison Institute studies ‘crisis’ of low millennial voter turnout

Jul 28, 2018, 5:28 PM | Updated: Jul 29, 2018, 7:50 pm
Voters come and go near a polling station at sunrise in Arizona's presidential primary election, Tu...
Voters come and go near a polling station at sunrise in Arizona's presidential primary election, Tuesday, March 22, 2016, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)
(AP Photo/Matt York)

PHOENIX — Morrison Institute for Public Policy called the lack of voter turnout from millennials a “crisis.”

A study done by the institution and ASU found that despite the fact that millennials outnumber baby boomers in Arizona by about 170,000, the elder generation made a much larger indent with their vote.

Only 51 percent of millennials are registered to vote, compared to 74 percent of baby boomers.

Millennials mark the generation born between 1981 and 1996. The oldest are in their mid-30s, while the youngest are several years out of high school.

In the 2016 election, 21 percent of registered millennials elected not to vote. Only 12 percent of baby boomers did not vote.

“Older adults have a disproportionate say in the state’s political decisions as young adults choose not to exercise their right to vote,” David Daugherty, one of the two authors of the report, told ASU.

The other writer, Joseph Garcia, told ASU the word “crisis” is “not exaggerated or selected haphazardly.”

“There’s no guarantee that the younger people who aren’t voting today will suddenly become voters,” he said. Voting is a habit. How do we change that?”

With that said, voter turnout has been decreasing among all Americans. While more voted in the 2016 presidential election than the 2012, it was fewer than in 2008 or 2004, according to the study.

Millennials only had a 49.4 percent voter turnout, which was actually an increase from 2012, when 46.4 percent voted.

Baby boomers had a 68.7 percent turnout.

In primary elections, voting rates are even lower among all generations: just 29 percent of registered voters in Arizona took part in the elections in 2016.

Since 1998, the only year more than 30 percent of registered voters participated in a primary was 2010, when 30.09 percent turned up.

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Morrison Institute studies ‘crisis’ of low millennial voter turnout