After watching the debate last night, it made me think that colleges and universities should be more actively engaged in encouraging – including making it easier – for students to vote.
Then I saw a NYT article, Colleges Take a Leap Into Voter Registration, that gave me hope. The article cites the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement at Tufts University, saying that approximately one quarter of all eligible young voters (about 11 million of them) are in college.
According to the article, “University-sponsored attempts to make voting easier for students are being tested in at least 60 colleges across the country amid the outbreak of battles over new voting laws.” Northwestern, registered 95% of eligible freshmen this year and Harvard holds a voter registration competition among dormitories. Nice!
And Morton Schapiro, president of Northwestern, said it well: “We’re not always going to have the incredible excitement among 18- and 22-year-olds that you did in 2008, so I think it’s an obligation. We’re supposed to teach citizenship.”
What is your college or university doing to encourage people to vote?