Why do so few young people in the United States vote? Researchers have investigated.

For some reason, there’s a big gap between young Americans’ intention to vote and the chance that they will actually do it.

Duke University professor D. Sunshine Hillygus says she’s heard it all about why young people don’t vote: “that young people are apathetic, that they’re disinterested, that they are selfish and narcissistic and too busy taking selfies rather than thinking about the common good or civic life,” she says.

But her research shows that’s not the case. “The vast majority of young people are interested in politics; they care who is elected.”

Hillygus and colleague John Holbein decided to focus on the gap between intention to vote and actual turnout.

If there's one comment sentiment among the seniors who are about to be able to vote for the first time, it's nerves. The whole idea of voting in an election? It's kind of intimidating, they say.

Listen to the full podcast about young voters' intent and turnout at Futurity.