SAN DIEGO – Election Day is exactly one week away, and historically, younger voters tend to “skip out” on voting in midterms. That could all change as more college campuses encourage students to voice their choice.
Ryan Roberson, a University of San Diego international relations grad student, was first in line for early voting.
“It’s important for my generation because we’re the upcoming generation that’s going to further our careers,” Roberson said. “This happens to be her first time voting in a major election. I was 17 when the presidential election happened so I wasn’t eligible to vote.”
With midterms a week away, Roberson stresses the power of voice, action and civic duty.
“You have women reproductive rights coming up, that’s a big issue. As a person of color, I think it’s another big issue to go out and vote. Get your voice heard and make sure all communities are represented,” Roberson said.
USD initiatives are vying for student voters like Roberson, and it’s working. In 2020, 87% of its student body registered to vote with a 76% turnout.
“That was pretty amazing, we expect that number to go down because in a midterm election that number usually goes down, but we hope it doesn’t go down by too much,” said Dr. Casey Dominguez, professor of political science at USD.
USD Sophomore Christy Wang says she doesn’t plan on voting, at least this go-around.
“For midterms, for me personally, I don’t have enough information on it, I’m not educated enough, and I don’t want to just vote for the sake of voting,” Wang said.
San Diego Miramar College is also pushing students toward the polls, and new campus voting locations are making it easy for busy undergrads.
“It’s really convenient, makes it really easy for students…they do provisional ballots, they do anything they need to do,” said Joseph Hankinson with student affairs.
According to a Tufts University Study, nationwide in 2020, the student voting rate stood at 66%. That’s up by 14% in 2016. Only time will tell if another surge takes place next Tuesday.
For a broader sense of where voters stand, in San Diego over 1.9 million people have registered to vote as of Monday, Oct. 31. That’s about 23,000 less than the 2020 Presidential Election.