ORLANDO, Fla. — A growing number of millennials are participating in the electoral process, and the primary midterms saw this trend continue, Orange County voter data show.
- Growing number of millennials are registering to vote
- Political group: Social media a huge factor in millennial vote
- More than 30K more millennial ballots cast in primaries
- DECISION 2018: Voting Guide, latest news, election calendar and more
In Orange County, there were almost 25,000 additional registered voters who are millennials, compared with the previous midterm in 2014.
As far as going to the polls, Orange Supervisor of Elections Office data show more than 30,000 additional ballots were cast by millennials during this year's primary midterm than 2014.
It may be additional evidence of a growing voting bloc — but what does this mean?
Millennials have the numbers to influence the upcoming general election, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The bureau defines the generation as those born between 1982-2000, which makes them anywhere between the ages of 18-36.
The generation makes up almost a quarter of the nation's population. But political analysts question what type of impact the group will have, considering older populations routinely have larger turnouts at the polls.
Florida's regional director for NextGen America, a political nonprofit group that works to register young voters, thinks growing economic insecurity among millennials will push more young people to the polls.
"Millennials and Gen Z have, essentially, unlimited access to resources, and social media is a huge factor," NextGen Florida's Grayson Lanza said.
Generation Z's age range varies by country and organization, but most agree that those in the generation were born soon before or after the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks and therefore don't have a firsthand memory of the event.
Lanza, a millennial, says in this election cycle, many of the young people he has helped register to vote have been more informed on political issues than in prior years — a trait he attributes to greater access to information via social media.
"In 2018, four years later, it was six times higher than it was in 2014. Now, UCF has its own precinct — it's precinct 538 — it's just people who live on UCF's campus," Lanza said.
Among those voting, the vast majority are registered Democrats. However, voter data show young conservatives are also showing more interest in politics.
Lanza said NextGen Florida anticipates seeing a significant impact of millennials during Decision 2018 and in November.
"We are, so far — again, six times higher here in just the UCF precinct alone — and that's for a primary. So I'm excited to see what happens in this general election."