A historic number of young voters are set to turn out during the pivotal Iowa caucuses next month, a new poll finds. And by participating in record numbers, the youth bloc could tilt the results heavily in favor of the leading progressive candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination.
More than a third of eligible Iowa voters between the ages of 18 and 29 said they were "extremely likely" to participate during the Feb. 3 caucuses, a number that would dwarf previous turnout figures, according to researchers at Tufts University's Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement and Suffolk University.
Only an estimated 11 percent of young Iowans turned out for the 2016 caucuses, when both parties had contested primaries. In 2008 and 2012, just 4 percent of young voters participated in the country's first-in-the-nation nominating contest, the researchers said.
What's one good way to fix dysfunction in American democracy? A centrist think tank has come up with a very counterintuitive answer:
Give the voters even less say over how their presidential candidates get nominated.
A white paper released this week by The New Center argues that the leaders of the political parties — not primary voters — should have the predominant voice in deciding which candidates best represent the ideals, norms and goals of the party.
All states should adopt automatic voter registration, expand mail-in voting and implement new auditing practices to assure the accuracy of vote counts, a bipartisan panel of election administrators proposed Thursday.
A 57-page report released by the Bipartisan Policy Center, which convened a task force of officials to come up with ideas, offers 21 recommendations that cover all aspects of elections, from registration to casting and certifying ballots.
The recommendations, adopted unanimously by the nearly two dozen local and state election administrators from across the country, are intended to provide a roadmap for state legislatures to follow, said Matthew Weil, director of the BPC's effort. Lawmakers are convening in most state capitals this month for their annual sessions, so there is still time for election overhauls to be put in place before the November presidential election.