Looking for information on 2008 youth voting patterns?
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The more college students discuss politics and current events outside of class, the more likely they are to vote. But, distance from home, whether they transferred colleges, and major field of study also influence their voting behavior.
Those were some recent research findings presented by Richard Niemi, the Don Alonzo Watson Professor of Political Science at the University of Rochester, an expert on voting behavior and civic education, at the October meeting of the Civic Engagement Research Group (CERG).
While it is commonly believed that out-of-town students are discouraged from registering to vote where they attend college, Prof. Niemi said his recent study of 1200 college students found little evidence to support this. However, the further away from home students attend college, the less likely they will vote.
Among other findings from Prof. Niemi’s research:
* Eighty-eight percent of students who discuss politics and current events outside of class on a near-daily basis said they went to the polls on election day. That turnout, however, drops to 66 percent for those who discuss politics outside of class only a few times a month.
* Students majoring in engineering, math, science, and education voted least often of the students surveyed.
* Age, employment, mobility, and income do not influence whether college students vote.
Next CERG Program on Dec. 1
The final CERG meeting of the fall semester will be held Friday, Dec. 1, 12:30 – 2:00 p.m., in the Rabb Room at Tisch College. Mark R. Warren, associate professor of Education at Harvard University, will speak on Cross Race Allies for Community Organizing: White Racial Justice Activists.
Prof. Warren, a sociologist concerned with the revitalization of American democratic and community life, studies efforts to strengthen institutions that anchor inner-city communities—churches, schools, and other community-based organizations—and to build broad-based alliances among these institutions and across race and social class. He is the author of Dry Bones Rattling: Community Building to Revitalize American Democracy, a book on the Texas/Southwest Industrial Areas Foundation, the nation’s most prominent faith-based community organizing network.
Co-sponsored by Tufts’ Sociology and Political Science Departments and Tisch College, CERG has provided a forum since 2003 for Tufts faculty and advanced students doing civic engagement research, as well as interested individuals from other colleges and Tufts host communities, to share ideas and present work in progress.
Originally published November 2006