Study Examines Voter Turnout Among African American College Students

The Institute for Democracy and Higher Education at Tufts University in Massachusetts has released a new report on voter turnout rates by college students.

As one might expect, voter turnout among students at the nation’s historically Black colleges and universities declined from 2012 to 2016. In 2012 when President Obama was running for reelection, Black voter turnout exceeded White voter turnout nationwide for the first time. But in 2016, when voter enthusiasm among the Black electorate was not as great, turnout rates declines.

The data found that the turnout rate for all African American college students declined by 5.3 percentage points in 2016 when compared to the 2012 rate. At historically Black colleges and universities the student voter turnout rate declined from 50.5 percent in 2012 to 39.9 percent in 2016. At other predominantly Black colleges and universities that are not classified as HBCUs, student turnout was down 3 percentage points.

The full 21-page report, Democracy Counts: A Report on U.S. College and University Voting, may be downloaded by clicking here.


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