Overall voter turnout for the midterm 2014 elections were low for all age groups, but especially for Millennials. Only 19.9 percent of young voters (https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/where-are-the-young-voters/2015/07/23/2781990e-316f-11e5-8f36-18d1d501920d_story.html) turned out in an election that saw record low turnouts across the country.
The high emotions of this year’s presidential election have some nervous about turnout, especially for younger voters. One thing that all voters need to remember is the importance of state and local races and the effect those have on their day-to-day lives.
Here in Michigan, the entire state House of Representatives is up for election (or reelection) Every two years. Term limits mean that each representative can have two terms, meaning each individual seat is has a new person every four years. Many issues are decided at the state level, including higher education funding. This is an issue that likely appeals to both college aged Millennials and their parents. By not voting, younger voters are removing themselves from the process of influencing funding, a cut of which will lead to tuition hikes and further debt.
Encourage young voters in your area to consider how many of their daily activities are influenced by policies set at either the state or local level. Perhaps brainstorm policies or play a few rounds of Federal, State, or Local? and let participants decide which of those influenced key decisions that have occurred since the last election.
Toni Coral - Michigan Organizer