Delaney Gross | 2024 I.S. Symposium

Delaney Gross head shot

Name: Delaney Gross
Title: Digital Politics: Assessing the Influence of Election Officials Social Media Usage on Youth Voter Turnout
Major: Political Science
Advisors: Joseph Coll; Ashley Sorensen (second reader)

Youth voter’s behaviors, along with their rates of turnout in elections, are unique and vary from their older counterparts. This is due to the variance in the participatory resources that are available to these two groups. The influence of social media on elections in recent decades has been a significant point of discussion within political science research. With these platforms changing how elected officials communicate with citizens, understanding its influence is growing in importance. Furthermore, the ways in which younger Americans use social media is different than their older counterparts, making these platforms an important place for younger Americans to obtain information. This study analyzes how the informational provisions presented on the social media accounts of state election officials influences the probability of youth voter turnout. Specifically, I ask to what extent does the frequency of social media posts made by state election officials impact the level of youth voter turnout? I hypothesize that if state election officials have a high frequency of social media posts, then that state will have higher rates of youth voter turnout compared to low frequency states. To conduct this study, I use both a bivariate and a multivariate hypothesis test. I collected data from the Cooperative Election Study (CES) and the #TrustedInfo2022 dataset to complete these quantitative tests. Both of these datasets include data from the 2022 United States midterm election. The results from this study imply that increased social media provisions by state election officials influence the frequency of youth voter turnout within a state.

Posted in Symposium 2024 on May 6, 2024.