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

Today is National Voter Registration Day!

September 25th, 2012
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CIRCLE is a partner of many other organizations that promote National Voter Registration Day. Nearly 46 million 18-to-29 year-olds are eligible to vote in 2012, 16.8 million of whom are new to the voting process. For young people, especially those who are new to the political process, registering to vote is a necessary step to participating.

This step can often be more of a hurdle than the act of voting. Research suggests that young people, once registered, are likely to turn out to vote. In 2008, 84% of youth 18-29 who were registered to vote actually a cast a ballot (this holds true for youth without college experience).  This figure is very close to the adult statistic (85% of 30+ adults who registered, voted in 2008). For youth who were college students in 2008, 87% of registered youth turned out to vote.

Young people need information on how to navigate the multi-step electoral process: that means understanding how, when, and where they need to register and vote. Registration is a requirement in all states (except North Dakota). In 2008, 59% of young Americans whose home state offered Election Day Registration voted (a higher rate than the national youth turnout).

A little over a fifth of young people who were not registered in 2008 said it was because they did not meet registration deadlines.  Youth who did not have college experience or who were single and Latino youth were the least likely to be registered.

Learn more about the National Voter Registration Day project and find partners in your state here.

Find more analysis in our 2016 Election Center. For regular updates in your Inbox about youth and the 2016 election, sign up for CIRCLE's monthly E-Update here.

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