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

November 2013 E-Update

November 19th, 2013
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CIRCLE Analyzes Youth Turnout in Recent State Elections

November 5 was Election Day for many across the country, with state and municipal races in places like New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, and Virginia drawing millions of voters to the polls.

These elections provided an opportunity to take a look at turnout among young people. In particular, CIRCLE’s day-after analysis of the New Jersey and Virginia governor’s races revealed:

  • An estimated 26 percent of youth ages 18 to 29 voted in Virginia, an increase of 9 percentage points over the last gubernatorial election
  • In that race, 15 percent of young people voted for Libertarian candidate Robert Sarvis
  • 49 percent of youth voted for incumbent Governor Chris Christie in New Jersey

Read more about youth turnout in these races HERE.


City Lowers Voting Age to 16, Sees Promising Results

This past Election Day was historic in Takoma Park, Maryland, which became the first place in the Untied States that allows 16 and 17-year-olds to vote in municipal elections.

The Takoma Park election took place on the heels of a similar recommendation made by CIRCLE’s Commission on Youth Voting and Civic Knowledge in its report “All Together Now: Collaboration and Innovation for Youth Engagement.” In keeping with its general embrace of new approaches to the deeply-entrenched problems of low civic participation among youth, the report suggests experimenting with lowering the voting age to 17 in local elections.

In Takoma Park, the results were modest but promising: 17 percent of residents aged 16-17 voted in the election, twice the turnout rate for residents 18 and over. More than 40 percent of registered 16 and 17-year-olds voted, whereas only about 10 percent of older registered voters went to the polls.

Read more about the Takoma Park election HERE, and go HERE to learn more about the Commission on Youth Voting and Civic Knowledge.

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

Recommendations and Resources for Civic and Higher Education Leaders

Following the release of “All Together Now: Collaboration and Innovation for Youth Engagement,” the report from CIRCLE’s Commission on Youth Voting and Civic Knowledge, we have been sharing additional resources and recommendations for specific audiences to better leverage the report’s information and research.

The latest include recommendations for:

Civic Leaders

Higher Education Leaders

Check back with us frequently for future updates aimed at teachers, grassroots advocates, and more.

CIRCLE Director Speaks about Civic Renewal at Texas Conference

On November 9, CIRCLE Director Peter Levine gave a talk entitled  “The Promise of Civic Renewal” at the inaugural Texas Conference on Civic Life at the University of Texas in Austin.

The conference built upon the release of the Texas Civic Health Index, which featured analysis by CIRCLE.

Watch Levine’s talk in its entirety HERE.

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

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