GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — An analysis at Tufts University found that Michigan’s young voters participated in the November 2022 election at a higher rate than any other state.
The analysis done by CIRCLE — the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement — found that 36.5% of Michiganders between the ages of 18 and 29 voted in the November election, far surpassing the national average youth turnout rate of 23%.
Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said she was “thrilled” by the report.
“A strong democracy requires informed and engaged citizens and Michigan is leading the way in ensuring our youngest voters are active participants in determining our future,” Benson said in a statement.
Michigan was one of five states to crack 30% youth voter turnout, along with Colorado, Maine, Minnesota and Oregon.
The five lowest states all had youth turnout below 15%: Alabama, Indiana, Oklahoma, Tennessee and West Virginia.
CIRCLE found that youth voter turnout has been way up since 2014, but 2022’s numbers were below 2018’s national average of 28%. Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York and Arkansas were the only states with higher youth turnout in 2022 than in 2018.
CIRCLE noted that Democrats won competitive statewide races for governor or the U.S. Senate in three of those four states.
Only one state — Louisiana — had lower youth voter turnout in 2022 than in 2014.
Since taking over the Secretary of State’s office in 2018, Benson and her team have worked on voter access and education programs in colleges, high schools and youth organizations. They also implemented same-day and automatic voter registration and no-excuse absentee voting following the approval of a state constitutional amendment in 2018.
“We continue working with Michigan’s colleges and universities and their local clerks to ensure young citizens can conveniently cast their ballot and know how to do so. I’m thrilled to see data recognizing the impact of our work,” Benson stated.
The CIRCLE analysis used public data from 39 states. The 11 other states either have not made that data public or there were technical issues with documentation. Those 11 states are Alaska, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Mississippi, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Carolina, Utah, Wisconsin and Wyoming.