Date of Graduation

Spring 2015

Document Type

Honors Research Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Major

Interdisciplinary Studies

Research Sponsor

Dr. John Green

First Reader

Dr. Nancy Marion

Second Reader

Mrs. Alison Doehring

Abstract

This paper explores the voting behavior of students at The University of Akron. The paper begins by looking at the body of research surrounding student voting behavior in the United States as a whole. Much of the research challenges traditional notions of how to predict voting behavior, and it is noted that many of the generational behavior research is outdated and may not describe today’s students well. Some of the some of the potential obstacles to student voting both in Akron and the country as a whole are also explored.

For the analysis, the voter turnout rate in 2010 through 2014 was compared between the precincts in the city of Akron that touched campus and the city of Akron as a whole. The findings were quite surprising, as those precincts that touched campus voted at a considerably lower rate than that of the rest of the city. Finally, in order to get an idea of whether this issue was limited to Akron or was a characteristic of all students in general, the voter turnout rate at the University of Toledo is examined using the same methodology. It was found that students at The University of Akron are significantly different from voters in the rest of the city and voters at the University of Toledo in terms of their turnout. The author then attempts to pinpoint possible causes of this problem, and proposes solutions to each.

Share

COinS