What’s more, retirement-age Boomers wielded decisive influence over which candidates were eligible for a vote in the general election. “The disparity was even more pronounced in Seattle’s mayoral primary,” the Times went on. “Voters’ median age was 55, with fewer people casting ballots than in the general election. Though people 18 to 34 years old accounted for 39 percent of the adult population, they made up just 15 percent of the primary electorate. In contrast, people 65 and older were 18 percent of the population and 23 percent of the primary electorate.”
Civic-disengagement theorists and policy analysts might spin even grimmer scenarios. How much power at the ballot box will depressed millennials and jaded Gen-Xers really wield, they might ask, saddled with rising marijuana use, an opioid epidemic, delayed-onset adulthood, a persistent jobs problem, a protracted student loan crisis, a massive investment of time in video games, social media or prestige TV, and a plain old disinterest in doing the often dull and time-consuming work of local politics?