‘Young and naive’? Inside Pennsylvania’s nation-leading youth voter surge

Registered voters in Pa. under 35 now outnumber those over 64.

Students wait to vote in November 2016 at CMU.

Students wait to vote in November 2016 at CMU.

Jasmine Goldband / The Incline

Rose Strauss is 18 years old.

She’s also “young and naive,” according to Republican candidate for Pennsylvania governor Scott Wagner, who made that comment after Strauss asked a question about climate change at a recent Montgomery County town hall.

Gillian Herzog is also 18. Call her naive at your own risk: She’s one of a growing number of young Pennsylvanians who are not only planning to vote this November, but are encouraging their peers to do so as well.

Registered voters aged 34 and under in the commonwealth currently outnumber those over 64, according to July statistics from the Pa. Dept. of State. That younger cohort accounts for 22 percent of the state’s population — but 25 percent of people registered to vote.

And their ranks in the electorate are growing.