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Data Brief: College Voting Turnout Gaps

Data brief - gaps

Ideally, the U.S. voting system would work to select public officials elected by the people affected by their decisions. Research on the turnout gap has shown that not all groups vote in equal proportion, which leads to unrepresentative outcomes. With more than two-thirds of high school graduates going on to attend college, higher education is a potentially significant site for remedying inequality of participation in U.S. elections. At the Institute for Democracy and Higher Education, we’re examining this problem in the higher education context by asking where and why the gaps exist. We are also looking at well-known gaps like differences in turnout by ethnicity and sex, as well as college-specific gaps like differences in students’ academic disciplines and types of institutions. In this data brief, we present some of the differences we have identified based on students’ race and sex.