By James Q. Lynch, Gazette Des Moines Bureau
CEDAR RAPIDS — Younger voters turned out in record numbers in the 2018 midterm election, and Republican turnout continued to exceed participation by Democrats, according to the Iowa Secretary of State.
Election data shows 39.6 percent of registered voters Iowans between the ages of 18 and 34 cast ballots, Secretary of State Paul Pate reported. Turnout in that age group had never surpassed 30 percent in midterm elections since 2002.
“These numbers are a very positive sign, but we can do better,” Pate said. “Young people traditionally are the least likely to vote, and that trend continues, but these numbers show substantial improvement over previous elections.”
The highest turnout percentage in the 2018 general election belonged to Iowans aged 65 and older. More than 78 percent of that age group participated, Pate said.
Turnout overall in the state was 60.8 percent, the highest mark for a midterm election since 1994.
The statewide statistical report also showed Republicans voted in higher numbers and a higher percentage than Democrats and no party voters.
A total of 492,802 Republicans cast ballots, compared to 458,902 Democrats, 368,773 no-party voters and 8,513 Libertarians.
Turnout by political party was 71.6 percent of Republicans, 67.7 percent of Democrats, 56.1 percent of Libertarians and 45.9 percent of no-party voters, the secretary reported.
The full statistical breakdown is available on the Iowa Secretary of State’s website, https://sos.iowa.gov.