POLITICS + GOVERNMENT

BYU study finds lower voter turnout among certain demographics

Aug 11, 2022, 3:36 PM | Updated: 3:40 pm
Midterm Elections...
FILE: A voter drops a ballot into a box at the Salt Lake County Government Center in Salt Lake City on Monday, Oct. 18, 2021. (Scott G Winterton/ Deseret News)
(Scott G Winterton/ Deseret News)

PROVO, Utah — A study out of BYU and the University of Virginia researched differences in voter turnout by demographics, and found that minorities, voters under 30 and Democrats are all less likely to vote. The study also found that Republicans over 30 had the highest rate of voter turnout.

The study authors relied on 400 million voting records to find the trends on which they reported.

“[We] have important fundamental rights that we enjoy as a democracy,” said Dr. Michael Barber, a professor of political science at BYU and an author of the study. “And some groups of people aren’t really taking advantage of that for a variety of reasons. Some of which I think are outside of their control.”

The authors of the study said minorities often live in “turnout deserts,” where voter turnout is lower than the national average.

“These patterns can create a situation that results in persistent patterns of lower turnout in certain communities for a variety of reasons,” Barber said.

The older people are, the more likely they are to vote

The biggest demographic difference in voter turnout was age.

“In terms of age, we found the biggest differences. Which was that voters who are older than 60 tend to vote almost twice — sometimes more than twice — as frequently as voters who are younger than 30,” Barber said.

The co-author said that Americans have a lot of room to grow as a country when it comes to voter participation. And he suggested that policies that make it easier to vote could make a large difference.

For example, he said Utah’s mail-in-voting policy has helped the state reach higher levels of turnout compared to other regions and is a step in the right direction.

Related: 

Today’s Top Stories

Politics + Government

Sen. Gene Davis...
Simone Seikaly

Salt Lake County Dems call for immediate resignation of Sen. Gene Davis

Salt Lake County Democrats say they've completed their investigation and determined that Sen. Gene Davis violated anti-harassment policies.
2 days ago
Utah less red...
Lindsay Aerts

Voters could see an increase in police presence at the polls

Growing tensions may result in an increase in the presence of uniformed officers at polling stations during mid-terms.
2 days ago
First Lady Utah vaccine mandate...
Priscilla Alvarez, CNN

Biden touts climate package at Global Citizen Festival

President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden addressed the Global Citizen Festival early Sunday, underscoring the administration's commitment to climate action
4 days ago
mike lee cpac bill of rights speech...
Mark Jones

Senate race between Lee and McMullin is tight as election day gets closer

According to the latest Deseret News/Hinckley Institute of Politics survey, Sen. Mike Lee holds a two-point lead over challenger Evan McMullin Utah's U.S. Senate race.
7 days ago
Steve Handy is pictured...
Lindsay Aerts

A tale of two Steves: Davis County voters face confusion over two write-in’s named Steve

The write-in campaign by Rep. Steve Handy might face an added challenge now that a second "Steve," Steve Fershtut, has entered the race.
7 days ago
Utah court rules book pictured. Utah judges can be reviewed on a revamped site...
Kate Davis

New site helps inform voters on Utah judges ahead of election season

People looking to vote on Utah judges this election season have a revamped resource to look to. An official website provides summaries of judges.
7 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Young woman receiving laser treatment...
Form Derm Spa

How facial plastic surgery and skincare are joining forces

Facial plastic surgery is not only about looking good but about feeling good too. The medical team at Form Spa are trained to help you reach your aesthetic outcomes through surgery and through skincare and dermatology, too.
large group of friends tohether in a park having fun...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

What differentiates BYU’s MBA program from other MBA programs

Commitment to service is at the heart of BYU’s MBA program, which makes it stand out among other MBA programs across the country.
a worker with a drill in an orange helmet installs a door in the house...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

Home improvement tip: Increase the value of your home by weatherproofing doors

Make sure your home is comfortable before the winter! Seasonal maintenance keeps your home up to date. Read our tips on weatherproofing doors.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
A paper reading IRS, internal revenue service is pictured...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
BYU study finds lower voter turnout among certain demographics