Unless younger voters want their parents and grandparents to continue making decisions for them, statistics show they need to start filling out their ballots.
Based on daily updates from the Colorado Secretary of State's Office, younger voters have turned in a fraction of the ballots compared to their elders.
- In the 18-to-25-year-old age group, 34,000 voters have turned in their ballots. That's only 8.7 percent of the active voters in that age range.
- In the 26-to-40-year-old age group, 115,000 voters have turned in their ballots. That’s only 12.6 percent of active voters.
- If you combine the two age groups, just 11.4 percent of 18-to-40-year-olds have voted as of Oct. 30.
- A quarter million 41-to-60-year-olds have voted so far. That makes up 22.3 percent of voters, so just more than one-in-five.
- More than 400,000 ballots have been returned from the 61-and-older age group. That's almost 43 percent of active voters older than 61.
According to a Pew Research article published earlier this year, adults who make up the Generation X, Millennial and Generation Z groups outnumber the voters older than them by 42 million in 2018, but if the last midterms are any indication, turnout among younger voters will fall short.
Census data shared by Vox shows 23 percent of young voters chose to vote in 2014. In the same report, Vox linked to various polls about projected turnout this year; one indicated that only 28 percent of younger voters want to participate in 2018, while other polls put it close to 50 percent.
In Colorado, every age could stand to show more turnout as of a week before the election. Here are recent voting numbers we found for the two major parties based on the ballots received report (Oct. 30) and an SOS report breaking down voters in Colorado by age and party from Oct. 1. The latter includes both active and inactive voters but gives you a general picture.
461,145 registered Democrat voters <18-40 |="" 55,841="">18-40>
372,025 registered Democrat voters 41-60 | 83,342 voted
343,373 registered Democrat voters 61-71+ | 140,538 voted
341,887 registered Republican voters <18-40 |="" 33,733="">18-40>
413,809 registered Republican voters 41-60 | 87,958 voted
381,640 registered Republican voters 61-71+ | 159,098 voted
If you really want to nerd out, check out the links above to see the numbers for unaffiliated voters, as well.
So why wouldn't younger voters (or anyone) participate?
Maybe filling out a ballot with a pen and paper isn't your thing. You can go to a vote center in your county and use a tablet and fill out your ballot like you're using an iPad.
People of all ages have trouble understanding the ballot issues. If reading a paper version of the Blue Book isn't your thing, you can click and scroll through the Blue Book online. Or you can use the 9NEWS Voter guide for help.
Are you confused about voting yes or no on the judges? Read through each judge's performance evaluation.
If you're unsure of how much postage to put on your ballot envelope, or you don't know how much a stamp costs, you can drop it off at a 24-hour ballot drop-off location. Then again, since we're a week away from Election Day, it's recommended you use a drop-off location instead of mailing your ballot back, since postmarks don't count. They need to be received by Election Day on Nov. 6 at 7 p.m.
Want to explain a personal reason why you're not voting? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to explain (any age); tell me why and the last time you voted. Notice a math error? Same address.