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Data shows spike in early youth vote in Florida

Some young voters are getting civically engaged with different reasons shaping their politics

Early voting and absentee ballots among young voters ages 18 and 29 have spiked in Florida according to researchers with Tufts University.

Some young voters are getting civically engaged with different reasons shaping their politics. Data scientist Rey Junco with Tufts University said a youth-led movement could attribute to the increase.

The team of researchers found that votes cast by youth as of Oct. 21 have surpassed the 2016 presidential margin of victory from the same date, especially in battleground Florida.

“The numbers are especially dramatic in Florida where we have seen over 250,000 young people vote,” Junco said.

The surge contrasts with 44,000 votes at the same time in 2016. However, Junco said the data collected can’t be a measuring stick.

“It’s really hard to say from a single data point, where things are going to move,” Junco said.

First-time voter Tracy Alt said it was her civic duty to vote and anticipated millennials to flock to the polls.

“I knew this was going to happen in light of what has happened just this year,” Alt said.

Junco said the data suggests the youth vote in swing states could determine the outcome of the upcoming election.

“Young people can actually shape the race pretty substantially,” Junco said.

Battleground states like Virginia, Texas, and North Carolina have seen an increase in early voting and absentee ballots among young voters as well.

The University of Central Florida senior Guillermo Serrao said the pandemic combined with the past four years has upended lives. Serrao said he is encouraged there has been an uptick in voter turnout among youth.

“We’re the most engaged on social media I’d say. Times are changing I guess,” Serrao said.

Florida ranks second out of 14 key states being tracked by Tufts University’s early voting data.


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