DENVER (CBS4)– Young voter turnout in Colorado could hit record numbers this election. Almost half of all registered voters in the state under age 25 have already cast their ballots, including thousands of students at Metro State University.
Not even a pandemic will keep MSU students from voting.
MSU had the highest undergraduate voting rate in the country in a 2016 challenge involving 1,000 other four year institutions. Despite 90% of the student body taking classes online this year, the voting center on the Auraria Campus is still seeing about 30 voters an hour.
Colorado’s turnout among young voters is historically higher than it is nationally, in part because of laws that make it easier to vote. The state allows 16-year-olds, for example, to pre-register to vote when they get their driver license.
“Everybody I know that’s my age or younger is voting,” one young voter told CBS4.
It’s not just the presidential election galvanizing Millennials and Gen Z voters, but issues like climate change, gun control and racial justice.
Jacqueline Reece of Denver is among those who cast a ballot for the first time, “It’s a lot going on shouldn’t be going on and a lot going on that I don’t approve of, so that means I’ve got to go in there and vote.”
Denver Clerk and Recorder Paul Lopez says he’s seeing a lot of first-time voters like Reece.
“Typically this is a demographic that is very unpredictable in terms of turnout, but not this year. We are seeing a lot participation and that’s a good thing,” said Lopez.
Studies show young people who vote are more likely to be engaged in their communities.
“I just feel it in my spirit, it’s something I need to do,” said Reece.
According to data compiled by Tufts University, 7 million young people under age 30 had voted as of Tuesday – more than twice the number at this point in 2016.
If you would like to register to vote, or find a ballot drop box or voting center, visit GoVoteColorado.gov.