2020 Electoral Impact

November 30, 2020

Young Coloradans shattered records during the 2020 election,  turning out at historic rates and cementing their place as the largest voting bloc in the state. During a global pandemic, national racial reckoning, and a contentious election cycle, New Era Colorado continued to do what we do best—meet young people where they’re at, break through the noise as a trusted messenger, and mobilize them to vote their values down-ballot.


Turnout for 18-34 year-olds statewide was 70%—that’s 9 percentage points higher than 2016 youth turnout! And young people are officially the largest voting bloc in Colorado with 27% of the vote share. It’s clear that the work we’ve done to expand access to voter registration and voting on college campuses is lifting up the entire youth vote by making our election more accessible. Passing the Colorado Votes Act in 2019 was critical to expanding access for young people and it changed the game during our get out the vote efforts by having dropboxes and voter service centers on almost all of our campuses. 

  • 86% of New Era registrants turned out to vote. In 2016, our registrants turned out at 82%—we increased turnout by 4 percentage points despite our shifting tactics.
  • In collaboration with Soul 2 Soul Sisters’ Let My People Vote campaign, we turned out young Black folx in our registrant universe at 74% this election. 


  • We soundly defeated Proposition 115 (with an 18-point margin), delivering a strong, clear message that our state will continue to protect abortion access. This year, our organizers worked hard to educate, persuade, and identify supporters of abortions later in pregnancy, building an active base of young people to mobilize. In fact, 95% of the 18-34 year olds who we ID’d in support of abortion later in pregnancy turned out to defeat the abortion ban.
  • Colorado passed Paid Family Leave, a critical support to our communities in the midst of the pandemic and a step toward a more just future, and reaffirmed Colorado’s commitment to the National Popular Vote compact. We worked to educate young people about these ballot measures through our voter guide program. 


This election is just one moment in a movement towards a more just future. Many measures also passed in Colorado that deepen racial inequality and harmfully impact our communities. This historic turnout creates a mandate to center the youth agenda and to hold our elected officials accountable to this agenda. One thing is clear this election: young people have spoken, especially young BIPOC folx—and now, it’s time to follow their lead.


To learn more about New Era’s plans for 2021, please contact:

  • Nicole Hensel, Executive Director | 813-205-6716 |
  • Natalie Drevets,  Development Director | 325-428-9018 |