By last Friday, more citizens had already voted in Texas than in the entire 2016 election. These early statistics show that 2020 could be a record-breaking year for early turnout across the entire country. Amidst the throngs of early voters is a dramatic increase in voter turnout among young voters.
According to data from TargetSmart, more than 6 million Americans under 30 have cast their ballot so far in this election, compared to just 2 million at this point in 2016. Additionally, the number of voters in this age range casting a ballot for the very first time is more than twice what it was four years ago.
This mobilization of youth voters is in part due to increased voter registration efforts on college campuses. Online registration and expansion of mail-in ballot capabilities in many states have made it easier to motivate young voters to conveniently cast their ballot.
The pandemic forced many states to change their voting policies and expand mail-in voting opportunities. While these changes were driven by unfortunate circumstances, it draws attention to the fact that making voting more convenient could significantly increase participation in the democratic process. Innovative solutions, like Santa Cruz’ VoteMobile, are showing what modern voting will look like this year and in the future.