In battleground states across the country, young voters are turning out in bigger numbers than in previous elections, according to an analysis by the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement. And no state has made a larger gain in youth voting than Texas. (Lee esto en español.)
CIRCLE, a non-partisan research organization based at Tufts University, compared the numbers of early votes cast in the 2020 election to the previous presidential election in 2016.
In Texas, as of Friday, 753,600 voters cast a ballot in the 2020 election. During the same time period in 2016, only 106,000 Texans younger than 30 had voted, according to the analysis, representing a 610% increase.
In 2016, less than a third of the voters who cast a ballot in 2016 were younger than 40, according to the Texas Tribune.
In Texas, younger voters have recently gotten more involved in elections. In the midterm elections of 2018, turnout tripled among voters younger than 30 compared to the previous midterm election in 2014.
“I’ve never seen campus forces organized to such an extent to the encourage and facilitate young people and our students registering and voting,” Trinity University professor David Crockett said Wednesday.
Crockett said young voters are simply more aware and more involved.
“Young voters are more attuned to things like climate change and the pandemic,” he said.
Genesis Dellisanti, a University of Texas at San Antonio senior, said, “I think everyone should go out and vote because at the end of the day every vote counts.”
It remains to be seen which candidates will benefit from the increased turnout, but the increased margins may end up affecting the results of several races, according to political experts.
Significant increases among young voters were logged in other battleground states, like Florida, North Carolina and Michigan.
In general, Texas has outpaced the rest of the nation in voting so far. More than 7.8 million Texans have voted in 2020 election, according to the U.S. Elections Project, already hitting 87% of the votes cast in the state in 2016. Only California has come close to that number, with 7.4 million votes cast.