College student votes doubled in last year

Jacqueline Gutierrez, Reporter

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More college students came out to vote in the 2018 midterm elections than the 2014 midterms, according to a news release from Jen McAndrew, a source from Tufts University.

“The turnout gap between students over 30 and those under 22 narrowed from 22.3 percent points to 16.9 points,” according to McAndrew.

During the 2018 midterm elections, the voting rate of all Americans increased 13 percent, but the college voting rate increased 21 percent, according to the U.S. Elections Project. The largest increase in voting was Hispanic students and the most active voters among college students was black women, according to McAndrew.

Older Americans tend to vote more in midterm elections because they may be more educated, but today’s young Americans are more diverse and politically engaged which caused an increase in political efficacy, according to Allen Bolar, a political science professor at Bakersfield College.
“Turnout among students in STEM fields, as well as those majoring in business, lag behind students studying the humanities, social sciences, and education,” stated McAndrew in the news release.

In the 2018 midterm elections, more women in college voted than men, but black women hold the highest rates at the polls and Hispanic women showed the largest increase in votes.

Most Americans vote in the presidential election however not many vote in the midterm elections. The participation in the 2018 midterm election was closer to a presidential election, according to McAndrew.

During midterm elections, there are different propositions on the ballot and local officials may run for office.

“Your entire house of representatives is up for elections, every two years… as well as many local races that are often decided during the off years, the nonpresidential years,” stated Professor Bolar.

In Bolar’s opinion, the increase in female votes was due to women voting more democratically causing them to oppose the president’s views.

“More people voted in the midterm elections because of the different propositions, such as healthcare,” said Liliana Linares, a student at Bakersfield College.

Some of the propositions in the California 2018 midterm elections were the California Proposition 8 which would put limits on dialysis clinic’s revenue and the California Proposition 6 which would approve more taxes on the sale of gasoline and diesel, according to Ballotpedia. 

“While more work remains to fulfill higher education’s mission to educate for democracy, it is clear that colleges and universities provide a valuable space for political learning, civic engagement and electoral participation,” stated Nancy Thomas, a director from Tufts University.

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