Number of young voters surges during early voting

Posted at 9:43 PM, Nov 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-03 22:43:48-04

Tennessee election officials saw a major increase in young voters during this year's record-setting early voting period.

According to the data firm TargetSmart, 1.3 million Tennessee voters cast a ballot during early voting, more than twice the number of early voters in 2014. There were 97,826 early voters under the age of 30, compared to 12,812 young early voters in 2014; a spike of more than 700 percent. 

"Folks are really really fired up," Pratik Dash said. Dash is the Campaign Organizer for TIRRC Votes, an organization works to improve voter turnout, especially among immigrants. "I don't think it surprises me, it excites me. I think that I'm so excited to see young folks really involved in this election."

"They're not only going out and voting themselves," Dash added. "But they're mobilizing other people to vote as well. They're mobilizing their peers and mobilizing their families"

Dash said he expects the enthusiasm among young voters to continue through the midterms on Tuesday, and carry into elections in years to come. 

There are several events across the state aiming to increase voter turnout, including a visit from President Donald Trump in Chattanooga on Sunday.