Where The Votes Are: All Age Groups Increase Turnout

Todays News

BY JACOB OGLES SRQ DAILY FRIDAY WEEKEND EDITION FRIDAY NOV 20, 2020

Turnout among all age groups improved in Sarasota County this year compared to the last Presidential election, particularly those under the age of 30. But in sheer numbers, the electorate for the region remains dominated by voters age 60 and older.

That was among the data points to come out during SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshop. While Contributing Senior Editor Jacob Ogles presented data from the 2020 election cycle on demographic turnout for the region, it was a query from a workshop attendee, Downtown Sarasota Condo Association President Patrick Gannon, that prompted the comparison with turnout from four years ago. The information was available thanks to the team at SRQ holding similar election analyses now for more than a decade.

The greatest increase in turnout as far as demographic groups between the 2016 presidential election and 2020 came in the 17- to 19-year-old voting group. Turnout rose from 58.9% four years ago to 71.7% during the election earlier this month. But it’s important to note that group of freshly registered voters is both small, and everyone who fell into that demographic in 2016 has since aged up into the 20- to 29-year-old age group. Among 20-somethings, turnout rose from 51.89% to 59.3%, a nearly 8-percentage-point leap.

On the other end of the age spectrum, turnout among centenarians leapt from 16.8% to 26.71% over four years. That means 148 Sarasota County voters older than age 100 cast ballots in this year’s election.

But the dominating force in raw numbers and turnout remains voters between age 60 and 80. In fact, 70-somethings had a greater than 90% turnout on Nov. 3, slightly higher than the 88.62% turnout recorded in 2016. With more than 62,000 60-somethings and upward of 61,000 70-somethings voting, those two decades worth of voters represented 45.7% of the electorate in the county.

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