Why Student Voting Matters

Young adults (ages 18-29) made up about 21% of the voting eligible population  in 2014, but voter turnout for this demographic has reached record lows in recent years. In midterm elections like last year and in off-year elections like 2015, local offices are on the ballot and can be decided  by a matter of a few votes. Local offices and issues have a direct impact on a student’s home and college community. Officials make decisions on topics like student debt, funding for higher education, and the economy.

Young people have the power to make a difference. An important way to achieve this is to make their voices heard at the polls on Election Day.



Percentage 18- to 24-year-olds who cast a ballot in the 2014 elections.

Many students are new to voting and aren’t aware of the process. In 2008, 21% of young people ages 18-29 said they weren’t registered to vote because they missed the registration deadline.  6% said they didn’t know where or how to register.
In 2008, nearly 1.7 million Americans between the ages of 18 and 24 were not registered to vote. This is often because they didn’t know how or where to register, or missed the deadlines. Students, new to voting and to their college community, often face practical hurdles like awareness of the registration process.

Out-of-state students, in particular, may not have the identification necessary to vote. Colleges and universities are uniquely situated to help. Download the best practices guide to get started!


The proportion of 18- to 24- year-olds who said they were registered to vote in 2014. The lowest in 40 years.