The Center for American Progress (CAP) released a new report about the health of state democracies.
Posts tagged ‘Voting’
Does the Age of a Presidential Candidate Matter to Young Voters?
As more contenders enter the next presidential race, CIRCLE continues looking ahead to 2016 and exploring the role that youth will play in that election. With candidates ranging in age from 43 (Marco Rubio) to 73 (Bernie Sanders) already among the declared aspirants, we explored an oft-asked question: do young people prefer to vote for younger candidates?
The answer is, largely, no. In 2008, less than 20% of young voters (ages 18-29) said that age was an important factor, and very few reported that it was “the single most important factor” in deciding their vote: only 6% of young Democrats and 4% of Republicans. While youth have voted for the younger of the presidential candidates in a majority of recent elections, those younger candidates have also generally been Democrats, which means the age of candidates is tied to other factors.
America’s Civic Renewal Movement: Implications for Youth Engagement
Last month, Tisch College—the home of CIRCLE—released “America’s Civic Renewal Movement: The View from Organizational Leaders,” a report by former CIRCLE Director Peter Levine and Eric Liu, founder and CEO of Citizen University. The report is the product of interviews with 20 leaders from large, national civic engagement organizations who discussed the state of the field and broader strategies for civic renewal.
While the interviews did not focus on youth, its findings are highly relevant to youth engagement. Young people are developing their civic identities when there is not yet a robust network for civic renewal, and several interviewees lamented the lack of youth in formal settings, such as facilitating conversations.
Here is an opportunity that you won’t want to miss. In 2013, Tufts University and CIRCLE launched a national study of college student voting rates called the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE). Nearly 600 campuses are currently participating, and we encourage your institution to join the study as well. This opportunity is free, confidential, easy, and protective of your students’ privacy.
In 2012 a call to action went out to the higher education community with the publication of “A Crucible Moment: College Learning & Democracy’s Future.” The report lays out specific steps “to make college students’ civic learning and democratic engagement a pervasively embraced educational priority and a resource for democracy.” The national conversation that followed was only the first step.
The next step is using programs like NSLVE to evaluate which strategies to increase student democratic engagement are most effective so they can be supported and spread to as many campuses as possible.
NSLVE provides you with an unprecedented opportunity to learn in aggregate numbers:
- how many of your students are eligible to register to vote,
- how many registered and voted,
- where your students voted (locally or out-of-state),
- the method your students voted (regular or absentee ballot), and
- voting rates broken down by specific demographic and academic information such as age, gender, race/ethnicity, field of study, and class level.
You will receive this information in a confidential report tailored for your institution. You can see a sample here.
To ensure that your students’ privacy rights are fully protected, NSLVE researchers work with de-identified student lists. Your registration and voting rates will be known only to NSLVE researchers and will remain confidential. Reports go to only one person on your campus, you or your designee.
Joining the study is easy. Simply complete this authorization form and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. This is not a survey, and you do not need to compile student lists or records. For more information, see this FAQ or contact Ishara Casellas Connors, NSLVE associate director.
To receive your 2012 and 2014 voting rates, you must sign up by March 31, 2015.
Students and the Political Process: How AASCU Institutions Facilitate Voter Engagement and Civic Participation
By Michelle R. Davis
“While colleges have long had a focus on service-learning and have established structures to foster those pursuits, more campuses are starting to emphasize the idea that being an engaged citizen means participating in the political process in an informed way. Voting, talking about the issues of the day from a local, national and international perspective, and researching those issues are all part of that process.”
The article includes references to CIRCLE, Towson University (Md.), Kutztown University (Pa.), the University of North Georgia, and the University of North Carolina Charlotte. It also discusses AASCU and ADP’s partnership with TurboVote, an online voter engagement platform.
And if you haven’t already, make sure your institution is signed up with TurboVote!