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Thursday, January 20, 2022

Today's Message

Posted: Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Buffalo State's 2020 Voting Rate Data: Action Plan Committee, Survey

Buffalo State College has received a personalized report on the campus’s 2020 voting rate, which demonstrates that our civic and voting culture has become more robust since 2016. In fact, across the country, college and university students participated in record-breaking numbers in the 2020 election.

During presidential and midterm election years, the Institute for Democracy and Higher Education at Tufts University analyzes public voter files and enrollment records from the National Student Clearing House. This data results in the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement report, outlining the number of enrolled students registered to vote and who appeared at the polls.  

In advance of the 2020 election, 75 percent of Buffalo State’s voting-eligible students were registered to vote (a total of 6,275 students). This is a 5 percent increase from 2016, which can be connected to the multitude of efforts facilitated by campus areas, outlined in the 2020 Voter Friendly Campus Action Plan Final Report (PDF, 325 KB).

Of our students who were registered to vote, 68.3 percent voted in the 2020 election, whether through early voting, absentee ballot, or on election day (4,286 students). This is a significant increase compared with the student voter turnout rates of 40.3 percent in 2018 and 58.2 percent in 2016.

Other important data points:

  • Among 18–21 year olds, 45 percent of registered voters voted in 2020 (compared with 35 percent in 2016).
  • Among 22–24 year olds, 57 percent of registered voters voted in 2020 (compare with 43 percent in 2016).

While the overall 2020 campus voting rate improved 10 percentage points from 2016, to 51.2 percent, our rate is lower than the 2020 national average of higher education institutions of 66 percent.

This means there is essential work that can be done on our campus to register, educate, and mobilize our student to the polls in advance of the 2022 midterm elections. Statistically, across the country, voter turnout for midterm elections is significantly lower than for presidential elections.

The time to begin strategizing efforts to register, educate, and mobilize Buffalo State voters is now. To continue our designation as a Voter Friendly Campus, Civic and Community Engagement is looking to bring together areas of the campus and individuals to facilitate the civic growth of our students. If you are interested in contributing to the ongoing conversation around student voting by participating in our action plan committee, please email the CCE. If you would like to offer feedback or ideas for the action plan committee to consider, please complete the short survey.

Submitted by: Aurora M. Schunk
Also appeared:
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