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, Minnesota had the third highest youth voter turnout rate of any state in the 2022 midterm elections: 35.5%. That turnout rate is more than 12 percentage points higher than the national youth voter turnout estimated by CIRCLE: 23%.
Minnesota had the highest turnout of any state in the country in 2018 (44%), an election cycle which nationally had the highest youth turnout of any midterm in the past three decades. In 2022, Minnesota was one of only four states with a youth turnout rate above 35%.
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.
“Minnesota usually ranks highly in youth turnout and has policies like same-day registration that have been shown to support young people’s participation,” said Abby Kiesa, deputy director of CIRCLE. “These policies, and initiatives like a strong youth poll worker program, have created a culture of youth engagement in Minnesota that helps young people have an impact on elections.”
Organizations on the ground in Minnesota also did critical work to engage youth in the state.
This past March marked the five-year anniversary of Minnesota Youth Collective (MNYC) – a youth-led nonprofit that empowers the next generation of leaders to take a rightful seat at the decision-making table, elect people who reflect their values, and shape legislation to better the lives of Minnesotans. Since then, the organization has seen a significant increase in youth voter turnout compared to 2014 due to MNYC’s long-term investment in young people across Minnesota, which led to a very successful 2022 midterm election. MNYC helped the state win the governor, House, Attorney General, and Secretary of State races.
“We knocked on doors for eight months ahead of the election and connected issues important to young people—like public safety and housing—to voting,” says Minnesota Youth Collective Executive Director Rahhel Haile. “We also hosted several hyper-local events throughout the state to connect with young voters, which allowed us to show young people that the work we do goes far beyond elections—that their voices are critical all of the time.”
“We sent out 110,000 voter guides to young folks, which provided information about each candidate on their ballots. We also provided golf cart rides to the polls to folks on the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities campus, making voting more accessible to students,” Haile adds. “In 2022, the future of our state was hanging in the balance, and it’s because of young voters that we saw positive election results.”