Spike in millennial voter turnout

Spike in millennial voter turnout

Just days from the election, a group of voters who aren't usually involved is now front and center at the polls.

Friday was the last day of early voting at the University of Illinois, Springfield and their voter turnout more than quadrupled, compared to the last midterm election.

"Whatever the variables were amongst the 16 presidential and the time thereafter, it's sparked people's interest in paying attention to what's happening in government,” Sangamon County Clerk Don Gray said.

Sangamon County leaders are also working to encourage millennials to vote. This year they offered nine early voting days at the UIS, instead of only three days offered in the last midterm election in 2014. This year they saw 130 early voters, compared to around 30 last midterm election.

But some millennials admit there are still hurdles.

"I know so many people who don't like the two front-runners for governor,” UIS student Jacob Rayl said. “They don't really want to go out and vote, they're not motivated."

Rayl says he voted for a third-party candidate.

“If you don't like any of the candidates, leave it blank, write in a candidate,” Rayl said. “I think it's best to get out and support who you want to support. I don't think it's a good idea just to vote for the lesser of two evils because that's all there is."

Some millennials say they hope this political interest continues.

“This is my state that I live in and I want to have an impact on my future,” voter Jazmyn Jarrett said. "It makes me feel pretty good that we can that we're coming together as a group and making an impact on the community and the place that we call home.”

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