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Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life

Tufts University Voting Rates Show Large Increase in 2016

2016 NSLVE Voting Report for Tufts University

Students at Tufts turned out to vote in 2016, and greatly increased their participation over 2012!  This according to a report released today, which includes the results of the University’s participation in the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE). Tufts University students increased their voting participation by 12 percentage points to 63.2% in 2016 (up from 51.2% in 2012). Registration rates also increased by two percentage points to 86.1% (from 84.1% in 2012). This high voting rate places Tufts well above the national average of institutions in NSLVE, and higher than other research institutions. Voting rates at Tufts increased for students of all age groups.

The NSLVE study, housed at Tisch College’s Institute for Democracy & Higher Education, examines the de-identified voting records of nearly half of all degree-seeking college students in the country and is demographically similar to the overall population enrolled in higher education. The data serve as an important benchmark for measuring increasing student political engagement. The study contains nearly 10 million college-student records at more than 1,000 institutions, including Tufts University, and showed that overall college-student turnout increased by more than three percentage points—from 45.1% to 48.3%—from 2012 to 2016.

In the run-up to the 2016 general election, Tufts launched JumboVote as a multifaceted, university-wide initiative to boost political learning, engagement, and voting in this year’s presidential election—and beyond. Spearheaded by Tisch College with support from the Office of the Provost, JumboVote representatives worked with every Tufts school and major administrative department. The initiative worked to facilitate voter registration, tackle barriers for Tufts students to vote in local communities, increase voter education, and support events and programs that foster political engagement. More than 65 student volunteers worked on JumboVote on all Tufts campuses, conducting 27 days of tabling to register voters, registering 1,366 people, and holding more than 20 events, panel discussions and dialogue sessions for Tufts students on issues related to the election.