Last year was a win for youth voter participation. We saw the highest-ever turnout for young voters, with half of 18- to 29-year-olds casting ballots. (Only 39% did so in 2016.)
But 2020 also made it clear that we have a lot of work to do. Changes to voting laws add confusion. Political differences and polarization add tension. And while we should celebrate the record-high 50% youth turnout, that means 20 million young people still didn’t cast ballots.
Higher education institutions are in a unique position to engage young people, but civic engagement is often seen as beyond the purview of colleges and universities. This is a massive missed opportunity, for both higher ed institutions and our democracy.