Younger Voters Underwhelm in Sarasota-Manatee

Where The Votes Are

BY JACOB OGLES SRQ DAILY MONDAY BUSINESS EDITION MONDAY DEC 3, 2018

Generation Z voters in Sarasota and Manatee counties turned out to vote at higher rates than Millennials, but older voters still control the ballot box here. SRQ’s newest Where The Votes Are analysis of election trends finds, even with a major Senate and gubernatorial race at stake, less than half of voters under age 40 cast ballots in this year’s midterm.

It’s a dynamic that weights the influence of the region’s oldest and most politically active residents. While voters age 60 and over represent a little less than half of all registered voters in the voters eligible to vote in this year’s general election, they made up more than 58 percent of all voters who participated.

Voters in their 20s demonstrated the weakest voter turnout; just over 37 percent of registered voters came out in that age group. Meanwhile, more than 80 percent of voters in their 60s and 70s voted in the November 6 election. In fact, voters in their 90s boasted a better turnout rate than voters in the 30s, 20s or teens.

If there’s hope for youth turnout in the numbers, it’s that those newly registered voters under the age of 20 came out at a significantly higher rate than voters in their 20s.

But Sarasota remains a region already dominated by seniors, just in the make-up of the electorate. Nearly 277,000 of the region’s nearly 561,000 registered voters were older than 60 at the time of the election.

The numbers will be further discussed at an upcoming Where The Votes Are workshop on Tuesday, December 4. The event will be held at SRQ’s Downtown Sarasota headquarters, with doors opening at 7:30am, and a presentation at 8am. A $5 cover includes coffee, donuts and a precinct-by-precinct analysis of the November 6 election results from the Senate and Gubernatorial recounts to city and county referenda results.

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