Northeastern Illinois University’s student body voted at a rate of 60 percent—9.6 percent higher than the 50.4 percent voting rate for all institutions—in 2016, according to the results of a recent study released by the National Study of Learning, Voting and Engagement (NSLVE). More than 1,000 colleges and universities signed up to receive their voting rates for the 2012, 2014 and 2016 federal elections.
The 2016 figure reflects a 12.5 percent increase over Northeastern’s 2012 voting rate of 47.5 percent.
Of the Northeastern students who are registered to vote, 75.1 percent voted in 2016, a 10.2 percent increase over those who voted in 2012, and Northeastern’s voting rate was 10.2 percent higher than the overall voting rate of 49.8 percent for public master’s institutions.
“Given the demographics of our student body, these numbers are quite impressive for a national election,” Northeastern Senior Director of Academic and Community Partnerships Kris Pierre said. “I would add that I think the partnerships that were developed between faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences and staff in Student Affairs played a big role in these increases.”
NSLVE is an initiative of the Institute of Democracy and Higher Education at Tufts University’s Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life. The voter registration and voting rates in the report reflect the percentage of Northeastern students who were eligible to vote and who actually voted in the 2012 and 2016 elections.
The University in 2016 made concerted efforts to increase student engagement and participation in civic life by encouraging voter registration, voting and getting involved in campus and community organizations.
“I believe that these results are the silver linings in the cloud of the state budget mess as our students were able to see that being engaged in the electoral process does matter,” Pierre said. “They were getting consistent messages from a wide range of areas on the campus on the importance of their voting.”