Friday, November 5, 2004

Young not as likely to vote as seniors

By voting in her first presidential election this week, 18-year-old Joanna Easterling is bucking a trend. Young people typically are less likely to vote than older folks.

A 2002 Census Bureau report offered a detailed analysis of voting patterns in the 2000 presidential election. (It's too soon to dissect the 2004 presidential election.) The report showed that the peak age group for voting participation was 65 to 74 years, with 72 percent of those citizens having voted. The lowest voting rate (36 percent) was among 18- to 24-year-old citizens.

A key difference between the groups: 79 percent of older citizens were registered; only 51 percent of younger citizens were.

Of those registered voters who chose not to go to the polls, the leading reasons were: too busy (21 percent); illness or emergency (15 percent); not interested, (12 percent); out of town (10 percent) and other (10 percent).

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