Three-quarters of young Americans voted in 2020 elections, study finds

Three-quarters of young Americans voted in 2020 elections, study finds

Nearly three-quarters (72 percent) of young Americans who responded to a survey said voting in the 2020 elections was "extremely" or "very" important, while more than three-quarters (76 percent) actually voted, a report from the Cause and Social Influence initiative finds.

Sponsored by the Case Foundation and based on a survey of more than a thousand young Americans between the ages of 18 and 30 fielded on November 4, the day after the election, the Influencing Young America to Act – 2020 Election Wave 2 Research Report found that 43 percent of those who voted did so in person on Election Day, 37 percent voted by mail, and 18 percent voted early in person. The survey also found that 60 percent of respondents reported voting for former Vice President Joe Biden, 28 percent voted for President Donald Trump, and 4 percent voted for another candidate. Issues cited as a top factor in their choice included racial inequality, discrimination, and injustice against Black Americans (59 percent); COVID-19 (44 percent); the budget and the economy (43 percent); civil rights and racial discrimination and social justice with regard to minorities other than Black Americans (42 percent); and healthcare reform (38 percent).

According to the survey, more than four in five respondents rated their voting experience as "good" (39 percent) or "very good" (42 percent), with 43 percent agreeing with the statement, "I had a voice in the 2020 presidential election/I think my vote matters this year." Respondents were most likely to say they were encouraged to vote by a family member (56 percent), a peer or friend (55 percent), a cause or organization they follow (49 percent), or a social network (48 percent). Of those who did not vote, 25 percent were not registered to vote, 21 percent were ineligible to vote, 20 percent said they were "not passionate about politics or government," 17 percent cited COVID-related concerns about the voting process, and 15 percent said they were uninterested in the candidates. 

Asked whom they trusted "to do what is right about ensuring a fair and non-fraudulent 2020 presidential election," respondents were more likely to trust Biden (21 percent trusted him "a lot" and 27 percent "some"), nonprofits (29 percent and 16 percent), and social movements (14 percent and 26 percent) than Democratic members of Congress (16 percent and 23 percent), their local government (13 percent and 25 percent), Trump (17 percent and 16 percent), House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (12 percent and 19 percent), or Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (8 percent and 16 percent).

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"Influencing Young America to Act – 2020 Election Wave 2 Research Report." Cause and Social Influence report 11/09/2020.