College Going Virtual Means Reaching Young Voters Online. Good

WIRED, Ricki Harris:

IN AN ORDINARY election year, college campuses would be brimming with political energy by October. Civic nonprofits like Campus Vote Project would be sending representatives into classrooms across the country to encourage young people to vote. They’d set up tents in the middle of campus to help students navigate registration forms. But in this extremely not-ordinary election year, the quads have gone quiet. As students have moved online, so too have the civic groups hoping to get them to the polls. Rather than intercepting students on campus, Campus Vote Project is creating TikToks and hoping the right hashtags will help them land in young people’s feeds.


Despite the pandemic, researchers and organizers say they’re cautiously optimistic about the youth electorate, a demographic notorious for its low turnout rates. National Voter Registration Day—which this year essentially amounted to a digital blitz across news feeds, timelines, and inboxes—saw record levels of engagement from young people. By the end of September, registration among 18-to-24-year-olds already exceeded 2016 levels in most states with available data.


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