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Amid downward national trend, OU students’ voting rates rise

A new report on student voting shows that the proportion of Oakland University students participating in the democratic process continues to rise, far outpacing the national average for college students.   

According to data from the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE), nearly 57% of Oakland University students voted in 2022, up 10 percentage points from 2018, and 25 percentage points higher than the national average for college students, which declined over that time span.

The 25-point margin is the highest OU has achieved over other institutions in the five elections for which data are available. The report also showed that OU students in all racial and ethnic categories bested national voting averages for those groups.

Additionally, Oakland maintained a 90% voter registration rate in 2022, a notable achievement in a midterm year, and significantly higher than other schools. 

“This is a testament to the students' commitment to democratic values but also to OU's support of those same principles,” said Dave Dulio, distinguished professor of political science and director of OU’s Center for Civic Engagement. “The CCE and our partners on campus work diligently to make sure all OU students have information about how to register to vote and know their options for casting a ballot. The university, including our leaders up to the President and Board of Trustees, is incredibly supportive of this work. We wouldn't see these kinds of results without their help.” 

The National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE) is a service to colleges and universities interested in learning about their students’ voting habits, as well as a national database for research on college student voting and, more broadly, political learning and engagement in democracy.

Launched in 2013 by the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life at Tufts University, NSLVE is the signature initiative of the Institute for Democracy and Higher Education. For more information visit the NSLVE website.

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