Mobilizing the Youth Vote? Early Voting on College Campuses in Florida

Enrijeta Shino and Daniel A. Smith, University of Florida


Might having additional opportunities to cast a ballot increase the probability that an
individual turns out to vote? Scholars disagree over whether or not added electoral convenience bolsters voter turnout. Examining the effects of early in-person voting on public colleges and university campuses in Florida, we argue that turnout should increase when institutional barriers are lowered, as individuals, especially those who are young, have greater options to mobilize themselves, or be mobilized by others, to vote. Using individual-level election administration data and offering a series of models (differences-in-differences (DD), differences-in-differences-in-differences (DDD), and multivariate matching combined with differences-in-differences, we estimate the causal effects of the expansion of early in-person voting on eight college campuses on voter turnout. We find strong evidence that on-campus early voting increases turnout, especially among young voters.

Most recent draft available here

Hey, @NYTimes, Millennials in Florida are still registering as Democrats

I feel compelled to push back on this New York Times story that ran yesterday.

I’ll leave it to others to analyze party registrations in other states, but in Florida, newly registered millennials are actually as partisan as ever. They are not, as Jeremy Peters and Yamiche Alcindor write, citing a PEW study, “declaring themselves unaffiliated with either party at a rate faster than any other generation.”

Here are the facts:

Of the 650.9k Floridians who registered to vote between January 1, 2016 and September 1, 2016, 221.7k (34%) are between the ages of 18-30.

Of those 221.7k, 24% registered at Republicans, 37% registered as Democrats, and 35% registered as NPAs (No Party Affiliates).

Only 137 of these millennials registered with the Green Party and another 768 registered with the Libertarian Party. That’s less than 1/2 of 1% of the total new millennials.

Compared to the other, older 429.2k who newly registered over the same time period, newly registered millennials were actually MORE likely to register as Democrats. Only 33% of all 30+ newly registered voters registered as Democrats.

So, in short, Clinton may indeed have an enthusiasm gap in Florida, but it’s not the case that millennials in the Sunshine State are “not moving toward the party” as Peters and Alcindor write.

Over 1.41m votes cast in Florida as of this morning…

As of this morning (March 9, 2016), over 1.41 million Floridians (out of the 13.2m registered) have cast ballots in the 2016 presidential primaries, with 994.9k voting absentee mail ballots and 417.1k voting early in-person.

Thus far, 772.8m Republicans and 598.8k Democrats have voted in advance of the March 15 election.  That’s nearly 17% of registered Republicans (active and inactive) and 11.9% of registered Democrats (active and inactive) as of February 1, 2016. Roughly seven out of 10 Republicans and Democrats who have voted have cast absentee ballots, with 30% voting in-person.  In addition, some 1.7k absentee voters and another 2.9k early in-person have voted, but registered between February 1 and February 16, 2016, the last day to register to vote in the PPP election.

Thus far, Republican absentee and in-person voters look remarkably similar along racial/ethnic lines. Of the 543.3k Republicans who have voted absentee ballots, 86% are white and slightly less than 11% are Hispanic.  Of the 229.5k Republicans who have voted early in-person ballots, 87% are white and slightly less than 10% are Hispanic.

Of the 423.6k Democrats who have voted absentee ballots, 70% are white, roughly 17% are black, and less than 10% are Hispanic.  Of the 175.3k Democrats who have voted early in-person ballots, 59% are white, 26% are black, and slightly more than 10% are Hispanic.

In terms of turnout, nearly 17% of registered Republicans have voted to date: 17.5% of white Republicans and nearly 16% of Hispanic Republicans have voted thus far.

Slightly less than 12% of registered Democrats have voted.  Among Democrats, 15.6% of white Democrats, 8.2% of black Democrats, and nearly 8% of Hispanic Democrats have voted to date.

The overall turnout rate in the state is 10.7%.  The reason it is so much lower than the Republican and Democratic turnout, of course, is because NPAs are shut out from voting in either the Democratic or Republican PPPs. And it shows: less than 1% of of the state’s 3.25m registered NPAs have voted in this election.

Finally, it needs to be noted (once again), that #Millennials are not turning out thus far.  Only 2.6% of voters under the age of 30 have voted; in contrast 20.5% of the state’s voters over the age of 60 have voted.

By party, 4.6% of the 578.0k Republicans under 30 years have voted; 3.7% of the 847.5k Democrats under 30 years old have voted.

In contrast, 28% of the 1.86m registered Republicans over 60 have voted and 21.7% of the 1.80m registered Democrats over 60 have voted.

As I’ve written before, at this point, it’s hard to see how #Millennials are going to decide either the Republican or Democratic presidential primaries in Florida. Too many millennials — some 819k — are registered as NPAs and as thus have no voice.


Florida’s Election Day is a Week Away, but as of this morning, 1.265 million Floridians have already voted. Details:

As I’ve noted, as of this morning:

15.1% of the state’s registered 4.56m Republicans have voted absentee and early in-person ballots.  Around 14.5% of the 511k Hispanics registered as Republicans have cast ballots and 15.5% of the 3.81m white Republicans have voted.

On the Democratic side, 10.8% of the state’s 5.033m registered Democrats have cast early in-person and absentee ballots. Roughly 7.3% of the state’s 1.44m black Democrats, 7.2% of the 757.3k Hispanic Democrats, and 14.2% of the state’s 2.56m white Democrats have voted.

What about Millennials?

Of the roughly 2.31m registered voters under 30 in Florida, 2.3% have voted thus far. Contrast that with the 18.5% turnout of registered voters 60 and over.

Of the 578.0k registered Republicans under 30, 3.9% have voted.

Of the 847.5k registered Democrats under 30, 3.3% have voted.

The reason why voting among the under-30 crowd in Florida is so low is because some 819k voters under the age of 30 are registered as No Party Affiliate, and thus are excluded from the parties’ primaries.

Why #Millennials Won’t Decide Florida’s GOP or Democratic Presidential Primaries

According to the latest numbers (January 31, 2016), 17.5% of Florida’s electorate is under the age of 30. Yet younger voters will have little say in who either the Republican or Democratic presidential nominees will be in the state’s March 15, 2016 primary election.

As of today, voters under 30 have cast less than 3% of absentee ballots and less than 4% of the early in-person votes.

Of course, the lack of participation by millennials in the Republican and Democratic primaries is in large part a function of younger voters disproportionately registering as No Party Affiliates (NPAs) in the Sunshine State.  Over 1/3 of voters under the age of 30 in Florida have no say in either presidential primary.  That’s because among the under-30 crowd, 35.5% are registered as NPAs.

Compare this figure to those who are between 30 and 60 years old, where 26.3% are registered as NPAs.  And what about Floridians over the age of 60? Only 16.9% of the 60+ crowd are registered as NPAs.

So, if you don’t identify with a party in Florida, you don’t get a say in who’s going to be the parties’ nominees. Not only are older Floridians are more partisan, they’re allowed to participate in party primaries, whereas over a third of younger registered voters may not.

So much for the influence of #MillennialVoters