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Thanks To Young Voters, Chicago Has Highest Midterm Turnout In 32 Years

More than 162,000 Chicagoans aged 25-34 voted in the midterm election on Tuesday.

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DOWNTOWN — Millennials were the most active voters in Chicago for this year’s midterm election, which saw its highest turnout in more than 30 years.

More than 174,500 people aged 25-34 had voted as of Wednesday, including early voting and vote by mail ballots, said Jim Allen, spokesman for the Chicago Board of Elections.

The next-most active group was people aged 35-44, with 148,435 people from that age group voting, Allen said.

Overall, voter turnout was at 56.08 percent with more than 843,000 people having voted as of Wednesday, and that will grow as more vote by mail ballots come in, Allen said. That means Chicago has had its highest turnout for a midterm in 32 years.

Here’s how many people voted by their age group:

• 18-24-year-olds: 57,221 ballots cast
• 25-34: 174,591
• 35-44: 148,435
• 45-54: 139,100
• 55-64: 147,705
• 65-74: 108,109
• 75 and older: 67,924

The higher-than-usual turnout for a midterm was made more impressive by the fact that Chicago has also had more people registered to vote this year. As of 12:50 p.m. Tuesday, 1,503,353 people were registered to vote in Chicago.

“We’re beating the average for midterm turnout,” Allen said. “For many of these midterm elections … the registration was around 1.35 [million people] and here we are, 1.5 million [people]. We’re seeing these turnouts even though we have more voters on the rolls.”

More than 352,000 people ages 25-34 were registered to vote in the city, making it by far the winner in terms of voter registration among Chicago’s age groups. The age group with the next-highest amount of voter registration, people aged 65 and up, had 278,485 people registered to vote.

People took to social media to celebrate the higher turnout among Chicago’s youths, with some thanking them for helping elect Democrats throughout the state.

“The old dinosaurs better be scared,” one person wrote on Twitter about the youth turnout.

There had been a significant push for people of all ages to vote in this midterm as Democrats sought to “flip” Congress and win majorities in the Senate and House while Republicans fought to hold onto control.

Democrats ended up gaining control of the House of Representatives while Republicans held onto the Senate. Illinois saw billionaire Democrat J.B. Pritzker elected as governor, ousting Republican Bruce Rauner.