The good news is reported in “2012 & 2016 Campus Report: Student Voting Rates for State University of New York at New Paltz,” which was published as part of Tufts University’s National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE).
The data indicate that overall New Paltz student voting rates rose from 47.8 percent in 2012 to 56 percent in 2016, well above the national average student voting rate of 50.4 percent.
There were corresponding increases in voter registration rate (77.5 percent in 2012; 83.6 percent in 2016), and the voting rate among registered students (61.7 percent to 67 percent).
The growth in student voting participation is welcome news at New Paltz, where this issue has long been a priority throughout the campus community, among administrators, faculty, staff and student volunteers.
Information about registering to vote is included in first-year orientation programs and student communications, and student groups like the local chapter of the New York Public Interest Research Group support voter registration in diverse ways, from spreading awareness about rules and regulations to grabbing clipboards and helping student peers sign up.
Student political engagement has even produced a handful of New Paltz students running for and winning elected office.