But is this deliberate?
And note that old folks do vote - and that matters.
- Click here for the article.
Fewer than one in five eligible residents in Los Angeles vote in mayoral elections. In New York City, that figure falls to less than 14 percent. In fact, in 15 of the 30 most populous cities in the U.S., voter turnout in mayoral elections is less than 20 percent.
As if incredibly low voter turnout weren’t dispiriting enough, mayoral elections in the U.S. are also barely representative of the population. In the most recent mayoral elections across 50 U.S. cities, the median voter age was 57—evidence of an enormous gap in civic participation between retiring Baby Boomers and rising Millennials. Worse still, perhaps, voters are overrepresented in some neighborhoods and dramatically underrepresented in others.
A new report from Portland State University finds that almost nobody bothers to vote in mayoral U.S. elections. Those who do tend to be much older than the median resident and hail from more affluent neighborhoods to boot. That’s not necessarily a surprise, although the degree of disparity in local voting patterns is alarming.
In Dallas, for example, the median age of voters in mayoral elections is 62, even though the median age of the adult population is 41—a difference of an entire generation. Only 6.1 percent of eligible voters across the city participated in the last mayoral election (May 2015), with most of them clustered in voting “oases” in relatively affluent Dallas neighborhoods to the north and northeast.