Early voting dominated by older voters

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Part of Kerrville United’s mission is to engage with younger voters and encourage them to cast a ballot in local elections. But historically, Kerrville’s elections are dominated by older voters, and the turnout among younger voters is quite low. So far, this year’s election holds true to that trend, with older voters showing up in far greater percentages than younger voters.

For our purposes today, we’ll divide voters into two groups — under 55, and 55 and older. The city’s electorate (registered voters) is made up of 44% younger voters (under 55) and 56% older voters (55 years and older). The average voter age is 55, and the median age is 58.

However, the voters this year consist of 82% older voters and just 18% younger voters. The average voter age in this year’s election, so far, is 67 years of age, and the median age is 71. Younger voters are vastly outnumbered. More votes have been cast by folks 80 and over than have been cast by folks under 55, even though there are 6,863 registered voters under 55 compared to just 1,901 over 80.

Here is a visual display of that trend. The chart below is a histogram showing the number of registered voters within the City of Kerrville. To the left are the 18-year-olds, and to the right are the oldest voters.

Histogram representing the age of all registered voters in the City of Kerrville as of March 2019.

And the following histogram shows the age distribution of the voters who have cast a ballot so far in 2019. Again, younger voters to the left, and older voters to the right.

Histogram representing the age of all voters who have cast a ballot in early voting or by mail in 2019.

As you can see, the histogram is “skewed right” meaning more older voters are voting than younger voters.

What can we do?

If younger voters wish to have their wants and needs represented on City Council or any other local office, we must energize younger voters to get out and cast a ballot in these local elections. Kerrville United seeks to educate and inform younger voters by presenting news and information on channels where younger voters congregate — social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.

In addition to education, the younger voters that do participate must help spread the word and encourage their friends, family, neighbors, and younger community members to get involved.

Takeaways

  • Although overall turnout is on the rise in recent years, turnout among younger voters remains low.
  • So far during this election, 82% of voters are over the age of 55.
  • More votes have been cast by folks 80 and over than have been cast by folks under 55.
  • Younger voters must engage if they wish for their voices to be collectively heard.

References

We relied upon daily turnout numbers and voter demographics supplied to us by the Kerr County Elections department. These source materials will be made available to the public after the election.