We’re quickly approaching the 2018 midterm elections with the big day landing Nov. 6. According to a new poll from the Harvard University Institute of Politics (IOP), the number of young voters could reach a historic high.
IOP’s biannual survey of 18 to 29-year-olds shared some results about the plans of young Americans for the 2018 midterm elections. They’re planning to show up to the polls in high numbers; plus, the study questioned voters about their feelings on federal jobs, tuition at public colleges universities and health care.
This year’s poll indicates young voters have a strong support for federal jobs guarantee (56 percent overall and 63 percent among likely voters). They’re also mostly in favor of eliminating tuition and fees at public colleges and universities for low income families (56 percent support and 62 percent among likely voters). Similar numbers (55 percent support overall, 67 percent among likely voters) suggest their support for Single Payer Health Care.
The number of likely voters is significantly higher as well, especially compared to the 2010 and 2014 midterm elections. According to the research, 40 percent said they will “definitely vote” on November 6.
Both Democrats and Republicans report higher levels of interest in voting compared to the last poll from Spring 2018. The numbers indicate 54 percent of Democrats and 43 percent of Republicans indicated the likelihood of voting. Meanwhile, the numbers for Independents stayed at 24 percent.
According to the Institute and information by the U.S. Census, young voters turnout in midterms only surpassed 20 percent in 1986 and 1994, both peaking at 21 percent.
You can read the full report here.
Encouraging young voters
The #iVoted initiative is partnering with artists to offer free admission to more than 100 concerts in the U.S. as a way to get people to the polls.
Good Charlotte, Like Pacific and ROAM are among the acts included in the #iVoted initiative. It also features shows by boygenius, Chase Atlantic, Playboi Carti, Drive-By Truckers, Hoobastank and many more.
So how do you get in for free? Go vote and then snap a photo proving you did so. Before you whip out your camera, however, please keep in mind that some states have rules when it comes to selfies (aka don’t be Justin Timberlake).
Once you (legally) take a photo proving you voted, some of the concerts are using a raffle system where they ask people to post it on Instagram and tag the venue and @ivotedconcerts.
Other concerts are using a first-come, first-served basis where fans must show their photo proof at the door the day of the show. The amount of free tickets ranges from 50 to 200 depending on location.
Some venues are also offering free drinks when you show proof that you voted. You can check out the full list of shows and participating venues on their website.
This #iVoted initiative is just the first of many attempts to get people to the polls. Just this week, Snapchat revealed they registered 400,000 people in two weeks.
Fake entertainment news has also been used as a tool to get people registered. Accounts (including Riot Fest) began sharing fake celeb-related news such as Kim Kardashian and Kanye West getting divorced to click on a link. Once they did, they were taken to a voter registration site.
The Taylor Swift effect
With mid-term elections Nov. 6, the pressure for first-time voters to get involved is increasing. Even Taylor Swift recently broke her political silence, speaking very openly about her views and encouraging her fans to vote.
For the first time, millennial voters could make a huge difference in these elections. Only around 30 percent of young voters say they’ll vote in the midterms Nov. 6. This means that millennial’s parents and even grandparents could have the deciding vote on LGBTQ, reproductive and climate change issues.
There’s a chance though; after Swift’s statement, voter registration increased by 65,000 just a day after her statement. If more millennials voted, they could potentially change the political climate around things such as sexual assault and marijuana use.
Early voting is already open in some states, and it’s up to the younger generation to change the tide. Make sure you’re registered to vote at HeadCount.org and see if early voting is open in your state here.