Youth Voter Turnout
Youth voters (eligible voters from the age of 18 to 29) are consistently the least represented age group in elections in the United States. Only 45 percent of eligible youth voters participated in the 2012 U.S. presidential election. In comparison, 72 percent of eligible voters over the age of 65 voted in the election. Efforts, such as Rock the Vote, have been made to increase the turnout of youth voters. While an increase in the youth vote is credited with helping President Obama win the U.S. presidential election in 2008 it remains to be seen whether the trend of low turnout will change course in the future. In a recent Harvard Institute of Politics poll of millennials only 50 percent of respondents indicated that they would definitely be voting in the 2016 presidential election.
Voter turnout in the United States as a whole is lower than that of other industrialized countries. The total turnout for the 2012 presidential election was just 54.87 percent of the population. Some of the reasons speculated for the low turnout among millennials are the lack of a national holiday for voting, the often convoluted voter registration process, the frequency of moving that many youth experience during and after their college years, and ironically, feeling as though the government does not address their issues.