Election Day is in less than a week and Washington University said its rank third in the country for the highest number of students registered to vote.
Every year, there’s a lot of focus on voter turnout and Washington University is seeing that.
TurboVote shows 3,608 (25% of student body) graduate and undergraduate students at Washington University are registered to vote.
The university’s Gephardt Institute for Civic and Community Engagement says there are three factors driving the numbers: The unprecedented race to the White House, the campus' push for more political programs for students, and the presidential debate hosted on campus in October.
“It's such an amazing learning tool on campus, I think [the debate] absolutely helped. There was a buzz from July onwards about the debate being here on campus,” said Cassandra Klosterman, a Washington University voter engagement fellow. “Students came here in August, they were excited to talk about the debate, and they were excited to register to vote, and wanted to know how they could get involved.”
Washington University leaders told News4 it’s hard to compare voter registration numbers in 2012 to 2016 because they were using paper registration forms, which are harder to track.
The U.S. Census Bureau showed in 2012, 45 percent of all 18 to 29 year olds were registered to vote.
Klosterman said with so many measures on the ballot in Missouri, they’re seeing an increase in where students choose to vote.
“We’ve seen an uptick in students choosing to vote in Missouri. About 70 percent of students who registered with us through TurboVote chose to register in Missouri using their university address. Typically we have more of an even 50/50 split,” said Klosterman. “It’s really thrilling, we’re so happy that students have taken to it and I think you can really feel the sense of excitement which of course really motivates students to go out and get registered.”
Washington University is number three in voter registration among nearly 200 other colleges and universities across the U.S., according to TurboVote.
TurboVote is an application that makes voting easy – primarily for colleges and universities.
TurboVote shows three other Missouri Universities on the top of the list including St. Louis University, Stephens College, and Northwest Missouri State.
Click here to view the leaderboard from TurboVote.
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