New Article: College students push to ease voting access after midterm barriers

Posted by Andrew Goodman Foundation on February 7, 2023

Young voters made their voices heard during the Nov. 8 midterm election, turning out in relatively high numbers in an election that produced the first congressperson from Generation Z. But university students and voting rights advocates say voters on college campuses faced far too many difficulties trying to cast their ballots.

Across the country, voting rights groups and collegiate get-out-the-vote organizers documented many cases of college students who struggled to decipher confusing voter ID requirements, waited in hours-long lines at polling places or never received their absentee ballots. In some cases, college voters were even denied federally protected provisional ballots.

While Election Day generally went smoothly for voters nationwide, these sporadic incidents may have disenfranchised some college students, youth vote advocates say. They want state lawmakers to expand same-day voter registration, better train election staff, encourage college students to serve as poll workers and work with universities to make it easier for college students to vote.

The recent voting challenges speak to systemic problems with ballot access for college students, said Mike Burns, national director of the Campus Vote Project, a Washington, D.C.-based unit of the nonpartisan voting rights organization Fair Elections Center.

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