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Number of Colleges Students Exercising Voting Rights Doubles [Report]


College students are exercising their voting rights in greater numbers than before, especially black women, who are the most active voters on campuses across the country,

A new report released by the Institute for Democracy & Higher Education (IDHE) at Tufts University’s Tisch College of Civic Life found student voting at double rate in 2018 midterm elections than the last midterm.

Titled “Democracy Counts 2018”, the report found 39.1 percent of college students exercising their voting rights which is 20 percentage points higher than 2014’s average turnout rate of 19.7 percent.

Researchers analyzed the voting patterns of more than 10 million college students on more than 1,000 campuses in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, who participated in the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement conducted by IDHE.

As compared to male students, women were found on the upper side when it comes to voting in the elections, with black women being most active across the racial/ethnic groups. Hispanic women also saw their voting share increased from 14 percent in 2014 to 36.5 percent in 2018.

“It marks a watershed election year for student voter turnout, including promising progress in narrowing some persistent turnout gaps,” said Nancy Thomas, director of the Institute for Democracy & Higher Education at Tufts University’s Tisch College.

“College students today are more diverse than ever, and while they are not a monolithic group, they represent a formidable voting bloc of nearly 20 million.”

Among different institutional types, women’s colleges ranked top with highest voting rates while the voting trends between students attending various two-year, four-year, public or private institutions was found consistent. Students from humanities, social sciences, and education disciplines voted actively than their counterparts in business and STEM fields.

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