Giving Compass' Take:
- Natalie Schwartz highlights a new report examining ways to increase college student participation in the electoral process.
- What systemic barriers and beliefs may contribute to lower rates of voting by college students?
- Read more about student voting.
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States have recently seen a “flurry of both voter friendly and anti-voting legislation,” according to the report.
But Idaho lawmakers earlier this year passed a bill that would prohibit student ID cards from being used to verify identification for voting. Ohio recently passed similar legislation that prevents students from using their tuition or utility bills as forms of identification.
In all, more than a dozen states have introduced proposals that would make it more difficult for college students to cast their ballots, the report said.
Still, colleges can take actions to boost student voter participation.
One way is by building coalitions of employees and students devoted to boosting civic engagement. But the report recommends that these coalitions develop plans in case they run into major setbacks, such as losing funding or faculty and staff leaders.
“There continues to be sudden shifts in higher education, including major staffing changes, furloughs, and layoffs,” the report said. “These shifts have resulted in formerly active coalition leaders no longer having the ability or capacity to support the work.”
The report cites the University of Mary Washington, a public liberal arts college in Virginia as a model example. The university has a coalition that breaks a team of 10 students into three groups devoted, respectively, to social media, events and voter registration.
Read the full article about college student voting by Natalie Schwartz at Higher Ed Dive.