In recent years, midterm election voter turnout for young adults (ages 18-29) has been very low. Four years ago, 20 percent of people in that age group voted, according to a Tufts University study.
“Young people often times feel like they don’t have enough knowledge to vote,” said Christopher Faricy, an associate professor of political science at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Public Affairs.
This year, though, some young adults feel that number is turning around. Political candidates from both parties focused on mobilizing the young voters.
“For a general election, this is the most I’ve ever felt people were voting,” said Alex Archambault, a graduate student at SU.
So far, the numbers don’t necessarily agree. ABC News’ exit polls are reporting just a two percent increase in young voters from the 2014 midterms.
Most in that age group have very busy schedules, which can help explain for the lack of turnout. Another issue is the absentee ballot. Most college students live away from home and can’t vote in person.
“It was kind of a hassle for it to get sent, because I move around. Last year I lived in a different address, this year I live in a new address. So it was kind of difficult to get sent to this year’s address,” said Aidan Barczak, undergraduate student at SU.
Some states are making changes to their absentee requests in hope of making the process easier. Michigan, for example, has introduced a policy that grants every absentee request, regardless of the reason why.