Politics and Governance
We explore the relationship between ballot measures on issues salient to Millennials and their turnout in presidential and midterm elections. Both scholars and observers in the media have worried about decreasing levels of citizen participation, particularly among young voters. We demonstrate that one way to engage Millennials into traditional forms of political participation is through ballot measures that focus on issues salient to their generation (marijuana liberalization and higher education reform). We show that not only do these measures increase Millennial voting, but they erase difference in turnout levels between Millennials and older generations. This effect is primarily concentrated in low-turnout contexts such as midterm elections, indicating that these measures may be playing a similar mobilization role in midterm elections as presidential campaigns do in turnout out low-propensity voters.
Ballot measures, Direct democracy, Generation, Millennials, Political behavior, Turnout, Voting
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©The Author(s), 2019.
LaCombe, Scott J. and Juelich, Courtney, "Salient Ballot Measures and the Millennial Vote" (2019). Government: Faculty Publications, Smith College, Northampton, MA.