Iowans under age 34 participated in the 2018 midterm election in numbers greater than that segment of the voting population has since at least 2002.
The Iowa Secretary of State released the turnout numbers Thursday, which showed that statewide 39.6 percent of registered voters between 18-34 years old participated in November's midterm election.
Voters younger than 34 though still participate far less than their elders, with those 65 years old and older participating far more with a 78.47 percent turnout around the state.
"These numbers are a very positive sign, but we can do better," Secretary of State Paul Pate said. "Young people traditionally are the least likely to vote, and that trend continues, but these numbers show substantial improvement over previous elections."
In Appanoose County, the number of young voters participating in elections has remained relatively steady. Participation among this 18-34 segment has actually declined since 2002. In that year, 645 young voters cast ballots. That number has been as low as 491 in midterm elections since. A total of 616 under the age of 34 cast ballots in Appanoose County in 2018.
In fact, for Appanoose County voters participated in terms of turnout for age-related demographics have been on a decline since 2002, though voters above 65 years old rebounded earlier than the other age segments.
Voters between 35 and 49 years old had seen their participation in elections plummet from 56 percent to 36.6 percent between 2002 and 2014. In 2018, that segment had participation from roughly half of its registered voters.
Those between 50-64 years old also suffered a drop, falling from 72 percent participation in 2012 to 60.5 in 2014. They rebounded slightly in 2018, with participating rising to 66.6 percent.
"My office will continue its outreach initiatives to high school and college students, encouraging them and all eligible Iowans to engage in the electoral process," Pate said.
Overall, the state tallied its highest voter turnout for a midterm election since 1994 at 60.8 percent. Republicans voted in higher numbers, with party voters casting 492,802 ballots. Democrats lagged behind slightly with 458.902 ballots. There were 368,772 voters who aren't attached to a party and 8,153 libertarians.