Influential Young Voters in Arizona Had Above Average Turnout in the 2022 Midterm Elections

CONTACT: Carmel Pryor | Alliance for Youth Action | 

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, 25% of young people  (ages 18-29) Arizona voted in the 2022 midterm elections. That turnout rate was higher than the  national youth voter turnout estimated by CIRCLE (23%) and nearly matched Arizona’s youth  turnout from 2018 (26%), an election cycle with historically high turnout. 

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. 

Arizona has had one of the most dramatic increases in youth voting in the past three midterm  cycles. CIRCLE estimates that just 10% of youth in the state voted In 2014; in 2018 and 2022, 1  in 4 youth have cast a ballot. Most states in the country had lower youth turnout in 2022 than in  2018, but Arizona had the second-smallest decrease in participation. 

“Arizona was one of just a handful of states where youth voter turnout remained relatively even  with the past midterm cycle; that’s an impressive feat given that 2018 set the bar for high youth  participation,” said Abby Kiesa, deputy director of CIRCLE. 

Young voters in Arizona preferred Democrats by a wide margin. They played a critical role in the  highly contested U.S. Senate race in the state and even more so in the Arizona gubernatorial  election that was decided by less than one percentage point. 

Organizations on the ground in Arizona also did critical work to engage youth in the state.  Poder in Action (Poder), a nonprofit organization building power to disrupt and dismantle  systems of oppression and determine a liberated future as people of color in Arizona, helped  shift the political reality of Arizona. Poder organizers made calls, knocked on 51,000 doors,  distributed over 50,000 voter guides, had over 1.2M digital impressions, delivered care  packages, and coordinated rides to make sure young people showed up in the midterm  elections. Through their leadership pipeline, Poder also developed three of the most exciting  candidates of 2022 and began to undo the long history of anti-immigrant attacks by helping to  pass Prop 308, allowing undocumented students to pay in-state tuition and get state  scholarships for the first time in 17 years.  

“Since the infamous anti-immigrant law, Senate Bill 1070, young people have been organizing  to reclaim our power and agency in a state actively trying to break us,” said Viridiana  Hernandez, Poder in Action’s Director. “In partnership with many organizations, Poder has  focused on expanding the electorate and increasing our power to govern, but our work is not  about turning the state blue. It is about fighting for our right to live joyful and long lives, and  young people have always been at the forefront of that fight and will continue to build our power  as we head into 2024.”