Week 1: Kids These Days

Mar 13, 2020

Week 1 was an exciting week because it coinciding with Super Tuesday in which Virginia voted in the contest for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. In the office I would take reports of the 9 A.M voter turnout numbers we received and transfer them to an Excel sheet. My expectations that the office would be crowded with a bunch of employees crunching the numbers in real time were quickly dashed. Most of the excitement came well after I left.

But it wasn’t the real time numbers that were exciting: it was getting the results. While turnout by 9 A.M was already 40% of the turnout of the 2016 primary in Fairfax County, the results of youth turnout were not impressive in comparison to other demographics. For example, percentage youth turnout of the voters as a whole in Virginia decreased from 16% in 2016 to 13% in 2020, even though the amount of youth voters increased in the state, showing that other demographics outperformed youth voters.

In order to see a trend between youth participation and participation of the voter precinct, the percentage youth voter registration (17-29) before the primary to the voter precinct’s turnout percentage on the day of the primary were compared. However, when this was and we tried to look at things from a county wide perspective, nothing was learned. So it was decided to compare the same two pieces of information but on a county district level (there are nine in Fairfax County) to see if a trend existed there. The rationale was that since these districts may have more characteristics in common (ex. income level) a trend could be better identified. The data for all nine districts have been calculated, as well as trend lines and R2 values, and the next step is to analyze these graphs next week.

With the risk of COVID-19 on public gatherings, VA Youth Climate Strike will possibly cancel the Earth Day Climate Strike, so it will be interesting to help the organization adapt to these events in the future.

4 Replies to “Week 1: Kids These Days”

  1. Thomas E. says:

    Pendaar, what an excellent opportunity to be able to see the primary results first-hand at such a deep level. Keep us updated – if possible – on the other ways that COVID-19 affects the voting population. Will you be coming up with possible ways to increase student activism during this period of quarantine?

  2. Miller H. says:

    Great statistics! Thanks for giving us an in-depth look into the numbers.

  3. Tad B. says:

    Awesome work, Pendaar. Curious to hear about the R-squared values and to see what correlations you identify!

  4. raulr says:

    This is great! What a great opportunity to participate first hand in the democratic process. And with the information you gathered, what kind of actions are being taken to improve the young voters participation? I would think that, looking ahead to the general election, this should be a priority for the Democratic Party.

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