Title: Democracy Counts 2020: Record-Breaking Turnout and Student Resiliency
Authors: Nancy Thomas, Adam Gismondi, Prabhat Gautam, and David Brinker
Source: The Institute for Democracy in Higher Education (IDHE) at Tufts University
A recently released report from The Institute for Democracy in Higher Education’s (IDHE) National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE) finds an increase in voter turnout among college students during the 2020 presidential election compared to 2016. Over 8.8 million students representing 1,051 institutions participated in the 2020 study. Findings from the report are summarized below:
- The national student voting rate in the 2020 presidential election was 66 percent, an increase of 14 percentage points from the 2016 presidential election (52 percent). This number is similar to the national voting rate of 67 percent for all voters
- The national student registration rate in 2020 was 83 percent, an increase of 7 percentage points from 2016. The national student yield rate (that is, the percentage of registered voters who followed through with voting) was 80 percent, an increase of 11 percentage points from 2016.
- Minority-Serving Institutions and Women’s Colleges all saw 10+ percentage point increases in voting rates compared to the 2016 presidential election.
- Voter turnout during the 2020 presidential election was highest among students enrolled at private baccalaureate-granting (75 percent), private PhD-granting (72 percent), and public PhD-granting (70 percent) institutions.
- Voter turnout among traditional college-age students increased by double digits (between 11 and 18 percentage points). The authors state that the high voter turnout among younger students voting in their first presidential election was of particular note.
- Voting rate among first-year students was 59 percent, an increase of 16 percentage points compared to the 2016 election (43 percent).
- Student voter turnout increased for all groups by race/ethnicity and sex during the 2020 presidential election.
Click here to read the full report.