“CIRCLE understands the deep impact and importance of youth vote and has created a research-based index on youth electoral significance in the top 10 states and congressional districts where youth are poised to have an exceptionally high impact in 2016,” said Noorya Hayat, a CIRCLE researcher, in an email.
While North Carolina breaks CIRCLE’s top 10 in rankings, the study found that a number of reasons, including stricter voter registration laws and higher rates of poverty in the state could negatively impact youth voter turnout.
“North Carolina still makes the top 10 because the state’s youth have historically voted very differently than older voters and have shown that they can turn out, making their votes more influential,” the survey said.
The index is based on the number of people under the age of 30 eligible to vote on a state-by-state basis.
According to a study done by the N.C. Office of State Budget and Management, the state’s population age 18 to 34 is projected to increase 16 percent between 2015 and 2035.
Hayat said in the last 2014 midterm election and the 2012 presidential election, youth voter turnout in the state was higher than the average across the U.S.
Hayat said CIRCLE, among other organizations, is working with young people to bolster young adult turnout at the polls.
Former UNC student body president candidate Wilson Sink, a UNC junior and member of Tar Heel Vote, said in the 2012 general election North Carolina had more than 50 percent of the young adult population show up to the polls.