Kayley Bell, a freshman at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and intern with the voter engagement coalition BadgersVote, spent her days leading up to the November 2022 election campaigning and canvassing.
On Election Day, Bell spent most of her day in Ward 57 at the Nicholas Recreation Center on UW–Madison’s campus, working the polls and running a voter ID print station through BadgersVote.
“I woke up at five in the morning to be at the Nick at 6 a.m. to set up, since I am a poll worker. And from 6 a.m. to gosh, I think 2 p.m. I was working the polls and doing a variety of tasks,” Bell said.
It is students like Bell who helped make a difference in youth voter turnout in the November midterm election. Historically, youth voters, or eligible voters under 30 years old, have made up a much smaller percentage than other age demographics on Election Day. This year, many noticed a big rise in youth engagement and voting turnout.
According to the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement at Tufts University, also known as CIRCLE, the 2022 midterm election is estimated to have had the second-highest youth voter turnout in almost three decades. The highest turnout was in 2018 when about 31% of eligible voters under 30 years old cast a ballot.