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On National Voter Registration Day, New Report Says USD Voting Surged in 2018

On National Voter Registration Day, New Report Says USD Voting Surged in 2018

National Voter Registration Day is Tuesday, Sept. 24, and across the country civic-minded Americans are hosting events, canvassing and taking to social media in an effort to encourage people to register to vote. As part of this effort, students at the University of San Diego wearing “USD Votes” shirts will staff six stations across campus between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., encouraging their classmates to register.

According to a new report, student voting at USD saw a dramatic change in last year’s election, increasing to 45% in 2018 from a rate of 16.9% in 2014. While college-student turnout doubled nationwide in the same period, USD students turned out at 5.9% above the national average, up from 3.6% below the national average in 2014. The full USD campus report from Tufts University’s Institute for Democracy & Higher Education can be viewed here.

The transformation in USD’s turnout is also a direct result of USD Votes – a voter engagement effort by student volunteers, faculty and administration. With the ambitious goal of getting every eligible USD student to register to vote, USD Votes seeks to continue its strong momentum for the 2020 primary and presidential elections through information sessions, peer-to-peer outreach, seminars, online interaction systems, and canvassing.

“As a university, I think we have a responsibility to teach students the habits of responsible citizenship, and voting is one of those habits,” said Casey Dominguez, a political science professor who helps lead USD Votes.

The report is part of the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement, or NSLVE, conducted by the Institute for Democracy & Higher Education (IDHE) at Tufts University’s Tisch College of Civic Life. It is the only national study of college-student voting. It is based on the voting records of more than 10 million students at more than 1,000 colleges and universities in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

On Oct. 26, 2019, the University of San Diego will also be hosting Voice of San Diego’s Politifest, an event open to the public that will bring experts to campus to facilitate conversations around local topics such as housing, homelessness and mass transit.

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