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Ohio Youth Less Likely to Vote than Peers in Neighboring States

a photo of voting booths
Younger Ohioans still aren’t voting in numbers as big as their counterparts in nearby states.";

The U.S. Census Bureau finds more people under 24 voted in Ohio last year than in the last few midterm elections.  But younger Ohioans still aren’t voting in numbers as big as their counterparts in nearby states. 

Ohio’s midterm elections have gone overwhelmingly Republican over the last decade. Last year, 22 percent of 18 to 24-year-old registered Ohio voters did so. That’s more than twice the figure from 2014 – which had record low overall turnout. And it’s up from just over 20 percent in 2010. But elections statistician Mike Dawson said that 22 percent figure is still lower than nearby states.

“In Wisconsin, it was 47 percent of 18-24 year olds voted, Pennsylvania 32 percent, Michigan 33 percent.”

The national average for that age group was 30 percent. Dawson also notes that there are fewer younger voters registered in Ohio than in those other states.

The most active group of Ohio voters by far was those over 65. Two thirds of those voters cast ballots in 2018 as did over half of registered voters between 35 to 64.

Karen is a lifelong Ohioan who has served as news director at WCBE-FM, assignment editor/overnight anchor at WBNS-TV, and afternoon drive anchor/assignment editor in WTAM-AM in Cleveland. In addition to her daily reporting for Ohio’s public radio stations, she’s reported for NPR, the BBC, ABC Radio News and other news outlets. She hosts and produces the Statehouse News Bureau’s weekly TV show “The State of Ohio”, which airs on PBS stations statewide. She’s also a frequent guest on WOSU TV’s “Columbus on the Record”, a regular panelist on “The Sound of Ideas” on ideastream in Cleveland, appeared on the inaugural edition of “Face the State” on WBNS-TV and occasionally reports for “PBS Newshour”. She’s often called to moderate debates, including the Columbus Metropolitan Club’s Issue 3/legal marijuana debate and its pre-primary mayoral debate, and the City Club of Cleveland’s US Senate debate in 2012.