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Presentation

Abstract

Grassroot voter registration efforts have been prevalent in Montana college towns and in strategic voter districts, where a larger population of youth becoming registered and encouraged to vote would be advantageous. However, it has been almost impossible to evaluate the effectiveness of blind voter registration campaigns geared towards passerby, or indiscriminately asking passerby – primarily students – to register to vote, or turnout to vote. Youth targeted voter registration campaigns are usually conducted in college or university settings, where the target potential voter population is mostly in the 18-25 year old demographic. I will analyze the effect of the transient nature of youth, and their effect upon elections and candidate’s campaign policies, specifically in Montana on a county by county basis. I will also compare access to polling stations and polling stations with same-day-voter registration capacity on a state-wide level to determine a correlation between greater access to voter registration and flexible voting day policies with high youth voter turnout. I will analyze voter registration data from the Voter Access Network, as well as include data from voter registration campaigns from the Montana State and the University of Montana campuses, to compare numbers of youth registered to vote, and youth that actually turn out to vote, on a county by county basis. This paper will ultimately clarify the effects of voter registration campaigns on college campuses within Montana, and the political consequences of a concentration of - or a lack of - student voters in the larger community.

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Social Sciences

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Apr 15th, 9:20 AM Apr 15th, 9:40 AM

Youth Voting Patterns in Montana

Grassroot voter registration efforts have been prevalent in Montana college towns and in strategic voter districts, where a larger population of youth becoming registered and encouraged to vote would be advantageous. However, it has been almost impossible to evaluate the effectiveness of blind voter registration campaigns geared towards passerby, or indiscriminately asking passerby – primarily students – to register to vote, or turnout to vote. Youth targeted voter registration campaigns are usually conducted in college or university settings, where the target potential voter population is mostly in the 18-25 year old demographic. I will analyze the effect of the transient nature of youth, and their effect upon elections and candidate’s campaign policies, specifically in Montana on a county by county basis. I will also compare access to polling stations and polling stations with same-day-voter registration capacity on a state-wide level to determine a correlation between greater access to voter registration and flexible voting day policies with high youth voter turnout. I will analyze voter registration data from the Voter Access Network, as well as include data from voter registration campaigns from the Montana State and the University of Montana campuses, to compare numbers of youth registered to vote, and youth that actually turn out to vote, on a county by county basis. This paper will ultimately clarify the effects of voter registration campaigns on college campuses within Montana, and the political consequences of a concentration of - or a lack of - student voters in the larger community.