CIRCLE (The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement)
conducts research on the civic and political engagement of young Americans.
The Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement

January 2018 E-Update

January 31st, 2018
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Teens and Elections: Starting Early to Increase Youth Electoral Engagement

Our newest analysis takes a look at the unique facets—both impediments and opportunities—of political engagement by the youngest of young people: 18 to 20-year-olds. We find disparities between youth in this age group and their slightly older peers, for example, less than half (47%) of 18 and 19-year-olds were registered to vote last November and only 37% cast a ballot—both 10 percentage points lower than the rates for 20 to 29-year-olds. Read the full analysis.

These disparities, which are exacerbated by troubling educational gaps among youth, call for a concerted effort to start preparing teens to be informed and engaged voters years before they are old enough to cast a ballot. There is a vital role for k-12 civics education that incorporates best practices like discussion of current controversies, action on issues that matter to youth, simulation of civic and political processes, and, increasingly, a focus on media literacy that can help youth not just understand but participate in an increasingly complex political media landscape.

With that in mind, CIRCLE has joined with The LAMP to launch and co-lead 22×20, a campaign to prepare to make sure the 22 million young people who turn 18 by 2020 are prepared and excited to vote. 22×20 is bringing together partners, providing resources, and hosting events in which youth can makes their voices heard.

One of those events is tonight, January 31, when 22×20 co-hosts the “State of the Youth.” You can watch the event live here at 7:00 p.m. and follow the #22×20 hashtag for more news and updates.

Check out all of the educational resources and more from the 22×20 website, and join us as we make sure that the next generation is ready for democracy.

Stay connected to CIRCLE on Facebook and Twitter to learn more. Sign up here for CIRCLE’s monthly e-update.

New Video: Discover and Explore the RAYSE Index

A new CIRCLE animated video introduces the RAYSE Index, (Reaching All Youth Strengthens Engagement), CIRCLE’s interactive data tool of comparative county-level data on indicators related to potential for youth civic engagement. RAYSE was launched last year and updated with new data in late 2017.

The video explains the indicators that make up the index and highlights how practitioners and policymakers can use RAYSE to pinpoint areas where investing in youth engagement can have the biggest impact.

Watch the video on our Facebook page and find your county by exploring the RAYSE Index.

CIRCLE in the News

– New York Times: “Can Democrats Follow #MeToo to Victory?

– TIME: “A Year Ago, They Marched. Now a Record Number of Women are Running for Office

– The Roanoke Times: “Millennial infusion: Virginia’s statehouse takes a slightly younger turn

– Crosscut: “Can a civics class make a difference? Justice Sotomayor thinks so

© 2010 CIRCLE (The Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement)

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