IUPUI joined campuses across the nation with a surge in voting in the 2018 elections, compared to the previous mid-term elections in 2014.
In 2018, 38.3 percent of IUPUI students voted, which is a 25-percentage-point increase from the mid-term elections in 2014, when 13 percent of students voted.
The percentage of students registered to vote also increased, from nearly 66 percent in 2014 to nearly 73 percent in 2018. And when looking at the voting rate of student-registered voters, the increase was even larger – from just under 20 percent in 2014 to nearly 53 percent in 2018.
The same is true on college campuses across the country, according to the National Study of Learning, Voting and Engagement (NSLVE) published this week. The report is based on an analysis of the voting patterns of more than 10 million students on more than 1,000 college campuses and is put out b the Institute for Democracy and Higher Education (IDHE) at Tufts University.
According to that report, college student voting rates increased at 99 percent of the campuses surveyed in the 2018 mid-term elections, compared to 2014. And nearly half of those had jumps between 15 and 24 percentage points. IUPUI was slightly lower than the national average of 39.1 percent, according to the NSLVE report.
Nationwide, the turnout for the 2018 mid-term elections was similar to the turnout for the 2016 presidential elections, according to a news release from Tufts University.
“At a time of increased activism and voter participation by all Americans, today’s report highlights even greater interest among college students. It marks a watershed election year for student voter turnout, including promising progress in narrowing some persistent turnout gaps,” Nancy Thomas, director of the Institute for Democracy & Higher Education at Tufts University’s Tisch College, said in the news release.
“While more work remains to fulfill higher education’s mission to educate for democracy, it is clear that colleges and universities provide a valuable space for political learning, civic engagement and electoral participation,” continued Thomas.
Some other highlights from the report about IUPUI student voters:
- The number of absentee voters is on the rise, from 12.3 percent in 2014 to 34.9 percent in 2018. At the same time, the number of in-person Election Day voters fell, from 85.2 percent in 2014 to 62 percent in 2018.
- Women beat men in voting rates, with 39.4 percent of women voting and 36.9 percent of men. The same is true across the country, with Black women remaining the most active voters on campus.
- Voters in all ethnic groups increased their voting rates this year, but two significant jumps were in Black voters, who increased from a voting rate of 15.5 percent in 2014 to 42.4 percent in 2018, and Hispanic voters, who increased from 8.7 percent in 2014 to 36.1 percent in 2018. Nationwide, Hispanic voters more than doubled – from 14 percent in 2014 to 36.5 percent in 2018.
- Students in the fields of study of English Language and Literature, History, Legal Professions and Studies, Library Science and Public Administration and Social Service remained in the top groups of student voters, with more than half of students voting in the 2018 elections.
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