Minnesota Had the 3rd Highest Youth Voter Turnout in the 2022 Midterms

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