Public Opinion and Voting Behavior

What We Know about How to Mobilize College Students to Vote

Elizabeth Bennion Indiana University South Bend
,
David Nickerson Temple University

Abstract

This paper introduces readers to the political science literature on voter mobilization, highlighting what we know (and what we wish we knew) about getting college students to vote in the United States. The purpose of the paper is to provide advice to those wishing to mobilize student voters and to help set a research agenda for the future. We focus on experiments designed to test the effectiveness of specific techniques to register and engage young voters, documenting practical steps that have proven effective across campuses. While only 40% of 18-24 year olds are enrolled in college, and turnout is lower for non-college youth, college students represent a population that academics should be best positioned to mobilize and turn into voters.

Content

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