Monday, May 23, 2016 News 12 NBC 26 at 11 O’Clock
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) — Millennials are everywhere and now they can vote, or not.
“I haven’t voted since Barrack was in office or since he’s been elected. I haven’t voted in a lot of the local things,” Ray Orr said, who falls in the Millennial age group.
A Pew Research Center study shows as of April of this year, Millennials and Baby Boomers both make up 31 percent of the voting population, equal for the first time. But those Millennials are not heading to the polls.
“It’s still an untapped resource and I think a lot of millennials are just very turned off by politics,” USC Aiken Political Science Professor Matt Thornburg said.
That same study shows in 2012 only 46 percent of Millennials voted while Baby Boomers were at 69 percent. It only gets worse in local elections.
“More remote elections like mayoral elections or local elections or local primaries that divergence between baby boomer turnout and millennial turnout increases,” Thornburg said.
Thornburg says there is a small dip for boomers locally.
“Every position, representatives, the local county commissioners, whatever is happening I think people need to study,” Randy Byrd said, a Baby Boomer.
But some Millennials like Nafesha Frost try to buck the trend and view local elections like the commissioner race as the most important.
“The impact on the local city of Augusta and that’s the one I see advertised the most,” Frost said.
But do not expect a heavy Millennial turnout.
“To be honest I did not even know there was a vote going on,” Orr said.
Thornburg says while the Millennials are not voting now, they could follow a similar trend to the Baby Boomers and have voter turnout increase with age.