A study done by Arizona State University’s Morrison Institute of Public Policy recently found that voter participation, specifically in Arizona, is nearing a crisis point. Arizona’s critically low voter turnout has it ranked 43rd in the nation. Despite some cyclical trends indicating lower voter turnout, experts agree that Arizona’s voter participation needs help.
The Morrison Institute’s study found that poor, minority, and young adult voters are voting significantly below their actual population representation. The study points to this group’s lower education and economic levels as the reason for its reduced interest in government policies. This is concerning not just because this group’s lack of voter participation, but also because this group stands to benefit the most from exercising its right to vote. Unfortunately, affluent, middle-aged voters are filling the vacancy left by the group’s low turnout and making the bulk of the political decisions.
The study also pointed out that millennials – the groups of voting aged individuals born between the early 1980s and 1990s – are not voting in proportion to their population. Millennials make up approximately ⅓ of Arizona’s population, but only about 20% of the group actually casts a vote.