CHICAGO (CBS)– Young voters are leading the surge in ballot numbers for the 2018 Midterm election.
In Chicago, as of 1 p.m. Tuesday afternoon, voters ages 18 to 34 have cast 125,808 ballots. This number surpasses the most reliable voting block of those 65 and older by nearly 800 votes.
According to Jim Allen, of the Chicago Board of Elections, the unofficial numbers show Chicago saw nearly 56 percent voter turnout. This is Chicago’s best midterm turnout in 32 years. Allen said the 2018 turnout percentage will grow slightly as more Vote By Mail ballots arrive in the coming days.
Suburban Cook County has also reported its highest ballot numbers in 28 years.
Health care and women’s issues are a top priority for many young voters. As predicted, they are turning out in stronger numbers than in years past.
A high turnout of Millenials was apparent at a West Side polling station.
Parris Cannon, of Garfield Park, said prior to this election, she felt more apathetic about voting. Now, she feels people are more vocal about their opinions.
“We are the next generation that’s going to take the reins to transform things, and it’s important for our voices to be heard,” Cannon said.
Natalie Duncan, of west suburban Wheaton, said she feels “compelled to vote as a woman.”
Joey Colando, of the West Loop neighborhood, said he notices among friends a new sense of political awareness that is reflected on social media.
“I guess when things aren’t going your way you don’t feel you have to do anything and when they are not, you have to,” Colando said.