Rutgers Student Voting Rates Increased Three-Fold in 2018

University Exceeds Nationwide Average through Voter Mobilization Programs and Campuswide Collaboration

New Brunswick, N.J. — Rutgers—New Brunswick student voter registration and voter turnout rates nearly quadrupled in the 2018 midterm elections, announced the Eagleton Institute of Politics’ Center for Youth Political Participation at Rutgers—New Brunswick. The data is from a new report from the Institute for Democracy & Higher Education (IDHE) at Tufts University’s Tisch College of Civic Life.

According to the report, Rutgers’ student voting rate outpaced other comparable higher education institutions and the nationwide average, which doubled since 2014. In the 2018 midterm election, Rutgers—New Brunswick’s student voting rate was nearly 43 percent — a 32 percent increase from the student voting rate in the 2014 midterm election, which was just 11 percent. Rutgers’ voter registration rate was 81.7 percent in the 2018 midterm election (a 15.9 percent increase since the 2014 midterm election) and its voting rate of registered students was 52.4 percent (a 35.6 percent increase since 2014).

“These strong voting rates reflect larger national trends of increased political interest and engagement among young adults. Here on this campus, this remarkable outcome can be attributed to the collaborative work of a hard-working and dedicated civic engagement coalition of campus administrators, faculty, and students and the commitment of the University to create a campus culture supportive of civic learning and engagement,” said Dr. Elizabeth C. Matto, director of Eagleton’s Center for Youth Political Participation and associate research professor.

Eagleton’s Center for Youth Political Participation was just established in 2017. The Center advances the political learning of young people and equips them to be active citizens and leaders. The Center’s RU Voting initiative encourages Rutgers students to vote by hosting voter registration drives and providing students with resources on how to vote. The New Brunswick Civic Engagement Coalition was led by the Division of Student Affairs, RU Voting, and NJPIRG.

The report, Democracy Counts 2018, is based on an analysis of the voting patterns of more than 10 million college students on more than 1,000 campuses participating in the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE). Eagleton’s Center for Youth Political Participation at Rutgers University—New Brunswick is a proud partner of the NSLVE project.

The report for Rutgers—New Brunswick data is available hereThe full report is available here.