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In the rural mountains of northern Thailand, I clutched my colleague Wan around the waist as I sat perched on the back of his dirt bike. I'd Nike Air Huarache Damenjoined him on this seven-hour ride through winding mountains to his hometown to witness him vote in Thailand's first democratic election in five years. At that moment, I was not aware that this journey would eventually divert my nascent career in international development to one focused on democratic engagement in the United States.
As I learned more about the U.S. election process, Nike Air Max 95 Femme I became Nike Air Max 1 Womens increasingly aware of the various privileges I have in accessing the polls. In high school, my social studies teacher drove our class to the courthouse to register to vote. In my first election Nike Air Max 270 Femme during college in 2006, a mentor from my small Iowa community emailed me to ask if I had requested my absentee ballot yet; I had not and likely would not have without that reminder. In 2008, I still remember the buzz and excitement at the polling place conveniently located on my campus. During the 2012 presidential election, while I was living abroad, my mom helped the county clerk send me a ballot in Australia. Only later did I realize this level of support and access was not the norm.
It's because of these experiences—seeing the lengths to which some people must go to cast a ballot and becoming Nike Air Vapormax Dámské aware of how instrumental early support is to becoming a voter—that I now work to support youth democratic engagement in the United States at the All In Campus Democracy Challenge.With 20 million students attending colleges and universities in the United States, it is imperative that higher Nike Air Max 97 Dámské education institutions leverage their opportunity to help increase nonpartisan civic learning and democratic engagement to develop informed and involved members of our communities and our democracy.
While some narratives focus on perceived youth voter apathy, college students face challenges accessing the polls and developing the habits of informed voters. Civics education is limited in many areas. Young people are highly mobile, requiring them to Adidas Superstar Femme frequently re-register to vote and learn new election laws, which vary from state to state. Many voter ID laws don't include student IDs in lists of accepted identification while fewer young people are obtaining driver's licenses. College students who do not live at home have to decide where to register and vote. Securing absentee ballots can require multiple steps and even that one appear in person, which poses a challenge for students living far from home. There are more systems Nike Air Max 270 Mujer in place to help a young person file their taxes online than to help young people become confident voters through simplified processes to register to Nike Air Max 90 Womens vote, access the polls and cast a ballot.The National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement, housed at the Institute of Democracy & Higher Education at Tufts University, measures college student voter registration and voter turnout. NSLVE found that the 2014 midterm election voter turnout for college students was 19.1 percent. During the 2016 presidential election, only 50.4 percent of college students cast a ballot. Nike Air Max 90 Femme Turnout for college students aged 18 to 21 years old was 45 percent while turnout for college students aged 30 to 39 was more than 10 points higher at 55.7 percent.Adidas Ultra Boost Dámské  These turnout results demand that more work is done to support young people as they cast their ballots by increasing nonpartisan democratic engagement on campus.