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Rutgers' voter registration quadrupled from 2014 to 2018

The Eagleton Institute of Politics studies American politics and government work, and is located on the Cook and Douglass campuses. – Photo by The Daily Targum

The Eagleton Institute of Politics' Center for Youth Political Participation (CYPP) at Rutgers University—New Brunswick has announced that voter registration rates for students at the University approximately quadrupled from 2014 to 2018.

The data comes from a new report released by the Institute for Democracy & Higher Education at Tufts University, according to CYPP’s announcement. 

Rutgers’ student voting rate was higher than average compared to other educational institutions, as well as the overall nationwide average, which has doubled since 2014, according to Tuft’s report. In the 2018 midterm election, Rutgers—New Brunswick’s student voting rate was nearly 43% — a 32% increase from the student voting rate in the 2014 midterm election, which was just 11%. 

Rutgers’ voter registration rate was 81.7% in the 2018 midterm election — a 15.9% increase since the 2014 midterm election — and its voting rate of registered students was 52.4%, a 35.6% increase since 2014, according to CYPP’s announcement. 

“These strong voting rates reflect larger national trends of increased political interest and engagement among young adults. Here on this campus, this remarkable outcome can be attributed to the collaborative work of a hard-working and dedicated civic engagement coalition of campus administrators, faculty and students and the commitment of the University to create a campus culture supportive of civic learning and engagement,” said Elizabeth Matto, director of Eagleton’s Center for Youth Political Participation and associate research professor.

In 2018, the CYPP began its RU Voting initiative, which is an initiative to get as many Rutgers students to register to vote as possible. 

The initiative held events such as voter registration drives around campus on National Voter Registration Day, The Daily Targum reported in 2018. 

“On our site, students will find comprehensive, nonpartisan and accurate information that will help them as they complete their voter registration forms,” Matto said in an email to the Targum at the time. “Students also can get information about their polling locations, applying to vote by mail and useful news resources.” 

Editor's Note: A previous version of this article said voter registration rates for students at the University approximately quadrupled from 2018 to 2019.

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