In less than a month, a new governor will take office and Democrats will hold all of the U.S. Congressional seats representing the state.
The heated mid-term election led to a record number of voters.
Going into the election, there was a lot of talk about millennials turning out to vote.
While they did, it was not enough to surpass the number of people over the age of 50.
Why is that? KRQE’s Political Analyst, Gabriel Sanchez, says it’s the all too familiar “brain drain.”
“What is unique to New Mexico is we are seeing the biggest segment of our 18 to 29 college educated population flee the state. When you look at the data, unfortunately for New Mexico, young people, particularly those more likely to participate because they are college educated, are just not choosing to live in the state, which just really decreases the pool of young people who can participate,” said Sanchez.
Sanchez says the trade-off is we have much older individuals who are choosing to stay and retire in New Mexico.
Numbers released by the Secretary of State’s Office show that the age group 18 to 34 had the least amount of people vote on election day, with a little over 20,000 people in Bernalillo County.
While those 50 and older had the most with nearly 27,000 people, Sanchez says the reality is younger voters did turn out in high numbers. He says this year we saw more than the state typically sees for an off-year election,
Sanchez says the high voter turnout in New Mexico is right in line with what happened nationwide.
CNN estimates that approximately 118 million people turned out to vote. They also reported that the turnout in 2018 is actually more comparable to presidential elections than midterms.
So how do we keep that upward trend going? Sanchez says make it easier.
“A lot of the research is suggesting if you want to increase millennial turnout in elections, you’ve got to make that easier. We’re seeing our state try to do those activities. One thing that a lot of people are talking about is what about making voter registration closer to the election and actually can you become registered on election day,” said Sanchez.
Sanchez anticipates the trend of 18 to 34-year-old voters falling behind 50 and up voters will continue in the future as well.