A national poll conducted by the Harvard Kennedy School Institute of Politics found that 63 percent of youth voters polled would “definitely vote,” suggesting a similar turnout to 2008, when excitement for Barack Obama’s candidacy led to a higher youth election than any Election since 1984.
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Spurred on by issues like climate change and the Trump presidency, college students turned out to be a key electoral bloc in the medium term in 2018, when their 40.3 percent voter turnout was more than double that of four, according to the Tufts Institute for Democracy and Higher Education Years ago.
Given the growing number of members of an electoral group that is highly democratic, Republican lawmakers in numerous states, including on several battlefields, have taken steps to prevent electoral fraud – including introducing restrictive ID rules and Byzantine voter registration requirements it made for too College students have a harder time casting ballots.
Elected officials have also sought to reduce campus electoral power through redistribution, as well as limiting polling stations, cleaning voter lists, or refusing to allow polling stations on campus. And the logistics of the pandemic could change as young people cast their ballots, potentially affecting races where candidates, typically Democrats, count on the support of students in their districts – but many of those students are now at home.
“Every aspect of student voting is under attack,” said Maxim Thorne, executive director of the Andrew Goodman Foundation, a nonprofit group focused on protecting the voting rights of young people. “You have to fight these battles on every front, whether you are in a state as blue as New York or as red as Georgia.”
In New Hampshire, where six out of ten college students come from out of state, a rate among the highest in the country, a Republican-backed bill went into effect last fall under which newly registered voters who drive one Must obtain state driver’s license and automatic registration. That can cost hundreds of dollars a year. The law was passed after years of calls by Republicans to restrict student access to voting.