Will millennials turnout to vote this Election Day?

Published: Nov. 2, 2018 at 7:29 PM CDT
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We are just days away from from the 2018 Midterm Elections, and new research shows millennial voters could end up playing a pivotal role in the outcome on Tuesday.

In the last Midterm Election four years ago, voters age 18-29 did not show up in large numbers to cast their ballot -- only 20 percent of them did.

But new research from Harvard finds younger voters could be a force to be reckoned with.

"I will be voting on Nov. 6," Ellen Hoyne of Sioux Falls said.

The Harvard institute of politics research anticipates nearly 40 percent of 18-to-29-year-olds will vote on Tuesday.

KSFY News talked with some millennials to see if they plan on taking part or taking a pass.

"I am voting in this election because I think it's really important to have everyone's voice heard, and I'm encouraging everyone to vote, as well, because in past elections I feel like we've all have been a little bit more like the status quo like everything's fine, but I think it should be better for voter turnout in general," Hoyne said.

"I think that people are wanting to change other's opinions, just to put the word out there, just so you know have a voice and make a difference in our country today," Constance Wall of Grandbury, Texas, said.

Dr. Julia Hellwege is with the University of South Dakota's Political Science Department said a certain kind of competition could lead to a millennial bump at the polls.

"Youth voters, in particular, can be very cynical and very wary of just the same politics as usual, older politicians talking about things still matter to us, and so when they see more competition and more interest in the process, they're going to get more engaged as well," she said.

But Hellwege added she does not think we will see numbers increase dramatically for younger voters or even voters in general until we change how we vote

"The easier it would make it to vote, the more likely people are going to go vote," she said. "The easier we can make those kinds of processes, particularly for people who are harder to reach, such as the youth, the more they're going to go out, so we need to make elections exciting, interesting, and make them feel like their voice matters but also make it easy to do so."

After speaking to several people in downtown Sioux Falls, they told KSFY News they plan to get out and vote. Only one younger voter said he was not going to vote this Midterm but did not have a reason why.

Social media is also playing a big part in this Midterm Election. Hellwege said there has been an uptick in the number of election ads on social media platforms this election cycle.