Thursday, June 12, 2008

Older Voters Turning Out in Twice the Numbers as Those Under 30

From this month’s Kokua Council newsletter (join us to get your copy in the mail, or see the right column of this website):

While organizers and the media have made much of record turnout among young voters in recent months, the San Francisco Chronicle reports that older Americans remain the most reliable and consistent group of voters. According to exit polls, at least one-third of all voters in most of the 2008 Presidential primaries have been over age 60, with the number rising to over 40% in states like Massachusetts, Ohio and California. Senior voters have generally turned out in twice the numbers as people under 30. Candidates recognize the importance of the “grey vote” and are expected to campaign hard for this demographic in part because young people have not yet established voting as a habit. Those under 30 are also more likely to face problems with residency requirements when they do go to fill out a ballot—they move much more frequently than seniors and may not have properly updated registration information, and college students must frequently vote by mail when they attend universities out-of-state.

(See: Despite youth hoopla, it's seniors who vote, San Francisco Chronicle, 4/25/2008)