ASU student voter turnout has surged in the past four years

A new report shows more students are showing up to vote

By Endia Fontanez | State Press

ASU students have become more politically engaged in recent years, according to a report from the Institute for Democracy and Higher Education, an initiative at Tufts University.

The report, dubbed the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement, found that 41.5% of eligible ASU students voted in 2018 — a staggering jump from the 19% of eligible students who voted in 2014.

Multiple groups throughout the state are focused on getting college students registered to vote, with the hope that it will increase turnout in both federal and local elections.

Emily Kirkland, co-director of ProgressNow AZ and member of One Arizona coalition, said the group tries to “meet people where they are” in local communities, including visiting college campuses during special events with voter registration forms to help students become registered at their new dorm addresses. 

 “We encourage people to be a voter and vote in every election,” Kirkland said. “Because things just work better when everybody participates.”

Kirkland said that increasing voter turnout in elections involves finding ways to relate to specific communities and informing people how participating in elections can affect everyone. Young voters, she said, are often interested in issues such as climate change and student loans — topics that directly impact them in their day-to-day lives. 

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