A Lady's Ruminations

"Jane was firm where she felt herself to be right." -Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Young People Voted in 2004

AP: Young Voters Led Surge in 2004 Election---

WASHINGTON - Turns out, the kids rocked after all. Nearly half of all eligible young voters cast ballots in the November 2004 election, raising their turnout rate by more than twice any other age group.

"This is big," said David King, associate director of the Institute of Politics at Harvard University who highlighted the Census Bureau findings in an IOP report Wednesday. "When you vote young, you're much more likely to vote the rest of your life, so the 2004 campaign turned a generation on to politics."

Exit polls from Election Day 2004 had shown that 9 percent of voters were 18 to 24, about the same proportion of the electorate as in 2000. Those figures were interpreted as a sign that young voters failed to increase their political impact in an election that focused on the Iraq war and included unsubstantiated rumors that the Bush administration might impose the draft.

The Census numbers suggest that young voters did get involved.

About 47 percent of Americans 18-24 voted in 2004, up from 36 percent in 2000, according to the Census Bureau. No other age group increased its turnout by more than 5 percentage points.

Even with the increase, the youngest voters still had the lowest turnout rate. Nearly three of every four people aged 55-74 voted in 2004.