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July 19, 2018

Pennsylvania sees largest spike in youth voter registration since Parkland shooting

Analysis shows a 16 percent increase in registration among state voters aged 18-29

Voter Registration Youths
Pennsylvania voting machines elections Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

Voting machines at a polling location in the dining room of The Gold Standard Cafe on Baltimore Ave. in West Philadelphia on Tuesday, May 15, 2018.

According to a new analysis from political data firm TargetSmart, Pennsylvania has seen the largest increase in youth voter registration since mid-February among 38 states and Washington, D.C.

The start date of the analysis was February 14, the day of the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Fla.

Nationally, TargetSmart reports, the share of youth registrants has increased by 2.16 percent.

Since that February date, Pennsylvania’s youth voter registration — the rates for voters aged 18-29 — has jumped 16.14 percent, from 45.2 percent of new registrants to 61.4 percent.

Rhode Island (11.05 percent), New York (10.7 percent), Virginia (10.49 percent), and Indiana (9.87 percent) round out the top five. West Virginia showed the largest drop (-11.52 percent).

Data for Arkansas, Idaho, Hawaii, North Dakota, Illinois, Michigan, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, South Carolina, Vermont, and Massachusetts was not available.

Pennsylvania, which is often viewed as a battleground state, has U.S. Senate, governor, and House races this November.

According to the The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, an estimated 50 percent of citizens between the ages of 18 and 29 voted in the 2016 presidential election.

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