Michigan Had the Highest Youth Voter Turnout in the 2022 Midterms

CONTACT: Carmel Pryor | Alliance for Youth Action | carmel@allianceforyouthaction.org

Successful efforts by multi-generational organizations led to strong electoral participation in a key 2022 midterm battleground.  

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, Michigan had the  highest youth voter turnout rate of any state in the 2022 midterm elections: 36.5%. That turnout  rate is more than 13 percentage points higher than the national youth voter turnout estimated by  CIRCLE: 23%. 

Michigan was one of only four states that had a higher youth turnout in 2022 than in 2018, which  nationally had the highest youth turnout of any midterm in the past three decades. 

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.

“Michigan young voters showed up in very high numbers for a midterm election and they had an  impact on key issues and races,” said Abby Kiesa, deputy director of CIRCLE. “The state’s strong turnout is a testament to what can happen when youth are supported by facilitative  election laws and hard work from local organizers.” 

Michigan implemented key electoral policy changes in recent years. The state, which already  allowed same-day registration, implemented automatic voter registration in 2019, and it had the  largest increase in the number of youth registered to vote between 2018 and 2022.  

Organizations on the ground in Michigan also did critical work to engage youth in the state.  Detroit Action, a multigenerational union of Black and Brown working-class Metro Detroiters  fighting for racial and economic justice, turned out voters leading to two ballot measures wins –  Proposal 2, the voting rights amendment to their state constitution, and another to enshrine  abortion rights. They also celebrated nine of their 11 endorsed candidates who won their races. 

With core issues such as voter suppression, reproductive rights, gun reform, and climate  change on the ballot, young people are disproportionately impacted by the political choices  made today. Last fall, we had an election that had the potential to set us back years, but young  Black and Brown Detroiters showed up and turned Michigan into one of the most progressive  states in our country,” said Branden Snyder, Executive Director of Detroit Action. “The midterms  were a wake-up call for any politician who doesn’t want to address the problems young people  face. The fact is youth involvement on the local level is growing, and we know this trend will only  continue until we collectively build a world where younger generations have the potential to not  only live, but thrive.”