The Voting Intentions and Opinions of Students

A Survey on What Keeps Some Students from Voting, and What Universities Can Do to Encourage Student Participation in Elections
Released by: CALPIRG Education Fund

This spring, CALPIRG’s New Voters’ Project conducted an informal survey of just over a thousand UC, CSU, and community college students, before the June primary. We asked students about their own voting history and intentions, what they thought motivates them and their peers to participate in elections, and what they thought colleges and universities could do to encourage student participation. 

The survey questions were written to inform our own outreach plans for our non-partisan civic engagement program. The responses also help to reinforce best practices for institutions of higher learning, community groups, and elected officials who want to better engage California’s students in the democratic process.

CALPIRG conducted our informal survey by sending out an online request to about 80,000 students on our own email list. We also had volunteers gathering in-person survey responses from students at UC, CSU, and community colleges. 

We gathered a total of 1,057 responses. 30 percent of the surveys came from our online outreach and 70 percent came from in-person outreach. 53 percent of respondents were enrolled at one of the UCs, 39 percent were enrolled in a California community college, 5 percent were enrolled in a Cal State, and 3 percent were from other schools.

Download the report to view our findings. 

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