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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Student Turnout

At Inside Higher Ed, Ellen Wexler reports on a new study (infographic here) from Tufts University’s Institute for Democracy & Higher Education finding that only 45 percent of college students cast a ballot in 2012.
Voting behavior varies widely among college majors, the researchers found. Students in STEM fields were less likely than their peers to vote -- and across all disciplines, engineering and math majors (at 35 percent) were the least likely to vote.
Forty-nine percent of humanities majors voted, with health, communications and social sciences majors following close behind. But while they all voted at above-average rates, only one major broke 50 percent.
“When I talk to groups and I ask, ‘What do you think the highest voting rate in the country is?’ everything says, ‘Oh, political science or sociology,’” said Nancy Thomas, director of the institute. “Well, it isn't. It’s education.”
Education majors voted at 55 percent in 2012 -- higher than any other discipline. They beat the engineering and math students by a 20-point margin