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Voting at Humboldt State Soars in 2018 - Humboldt State Now

Voting at Humboldt State Soars in 2018

Humboldt State student voting was up in last year’s election, increasing to 41.9% in 2018 from a rate of 12.9% in 2014. College student voting doubled nationwide, according to a national study.


The report, released in September, is part of the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement, conducted by the Institute for Democracy & Higher Education at Tufts University’s Tisch College of Civic Life. The study shows that nationwide, the voting rates at participating college campuses doubled on average compared to the previous 2014 midterm. In 2018, the average institutional voting rate among campuses in the study was 39.1 percent, nearly 20 percentage points higher than 2014’s average turnout rate of 19.7 percent. Turnout increases were widespread, with virtually all campuses seeing an increase over 2014. Read the full campus report online.

“It’s striking—and heartening—to see that the percentage of HSU students who voted in the most recent mid-term election more than tripled from the previous mid-term,” says John Meyer, HSU Politics Professor. “HSU’s jump is even greater than the doubling of voting rates for students nationwide. I think that reflects heightened political mobilization since the beginning of Trump’s presidency. For many, the political stakes seem higher than in the past and the costs of sitting on the sidelines and not voting seem greater. Historically, college students—and young people in general—have been among the least likely to vote, but these data suggest that this might be changing. I find that very encouraging.”

The report is the only national study of college student voting. It is based on the voting records of more than 10 million students at more than 1,000 colleges and universities in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The study provides reports to participating colleges and universities, like Humboldt State University, which use them to support political learning and civic engagement, as well as to identify and address gaps in political and civic participation.

About the Institute for Democracy & Higher Education:

Part of Tufts University’s Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life, the Institute for Democracy & Higher Education (IDHE) is an applied research center focused on college and university student political learning and engagement in democracy. IDHE researchers study student voting, equity, campus conditions for student political learning, discourse, participation, and agency for underrepresented and marginalized students. IDHE’s signature initiative, the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement is a service to colleges and universities that provides participating institutions tailored reports of their students’ voting rates. Launched in 2013 with 250 campuses, the study now serves more than 1,000 institutions in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.