CONTACT: Carmel Pryor | Alliance for Youth Action | firstname.lastname@example.org
Successful efforts by youth-led organizations led to high electoral participation in the state, which has a strong history of youth voting.
According to new data released by the Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) at Tufts University’s Tisch College of Civic Life, Colorado had the fifth highest youth voter turnout rate of any state in the 2022 midterm elections: 33%. That turnout rate was 10 percentage points higher than the national youth voter turnout estimated by CIRCLE: 23%.
Colorado also had a top-5 youth turnout rate in 2018 (41%), an election cycle which nationally had the highest youth turnout of any midterm in the past three decades. In 2022, Colorado was also one of only six states with a youth turnout rate above 30%.
The estimates from CIRCLE, the preeminent national research center on youth voting, are based on voter file data aggregated by Catalist. The national turnout estimate is based on data from 39 states for which age-specific data is available.
“As they do in nearly every election, young people in Colorado turned out in large numbers, supported by strong policies like automatic voter registration, pre-registration, and automatically mailing ballots to every registered voter,” said Abby Kiesa, deputy director of CIRCLE.
Organizations on the ground in Colorado also did critical work to engage youth in the state.
New Era Colorado has a 16-year track record of turning out young people across the state and has successfully passed pro-voter policies like same-day registration and mandated polling places on college campuses. In 2022, New Era made 217,925 phone calls, sent 15,252 text messages, and personally delivered 2,005 young voters into Voter Service Centers through their GOTV efforts. New Era members turned out at 60 percent—almost double the rate of youth turnout overall. New Era played a critical role in Colorado’s new 8th congressional district by organizing on the University of Northern Colorado’s campus in Greeley.
“Young people turned out in 2022—for our communities and our futures,” said Nicole Hensel, Executive Director of New Era Colorado. “One of every five voters in Colorado was under 35, and crucial to maintaining a trifecta of decision-makers who committed to the Youth Agenda in key offices. But we know that campaign promises only go so far and our work is just beginning to demand the future that young people dream of.”