Along with the longest freshwater coastline and strongest claim to the automobile industry’s roots, Michigan can now boast another top spot within the United States–best youth voter turnout.
Voters age 18-29 in Michigan turned out to vote in November 2022 at a higher rate than any other state, says the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement at Tufts University.
Thirty-seven percent of voters in this age group turned out to vote last November, the highest rate in the country, and far higher than the national youth average of 23%, according to CIRCLE.
“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, and I’m thrilled to see data recognizing the impact of our work,” Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said in a press release on Monday.
In 2018, voters overwhelmingly approved Proposal 3, which created a constitutional amendment to allow automatic and same-day voter registration, as well as no-reason absentee voting and the right to register to vote and obtain a ballot within two weeks prior to an election, among other reforms.
Other recent reforms include voter access improvement and education at Michigan colleges and universities, and after the 2019 election, the Secretary of State’s office implemented a measure passed by the Michigan legislature to authorize electronic voter registration.
Rose Reilly, member of the College Student Advisory Task Force (CSATF) at the University of Michigan, said the upward swell in youth voter turnout points to a future trend.
“The work we did last year to gather voting information specific to students and share tips to engage our peers supports a rise in youth voting in our state,” Reilly said.
“We hope that the knowledge we gained and shared in our policy change recommendations contribute to a continuing trend of future youth voter turnout increases.”
In the weeks leading up to the 2022 election, the CSATF wrote In a letter to the state’s colleges and university presidents, cosigned by Secretary of State Benson, various city and township clerks, and advocacy organizations.
In the letter, the students called for new policies and programs to boost student voter turnout in and after the 2022 election, including a recommendation to make Election Day a school holiday.