Saturday, December 24, 2011

My students are voting this spring - are yours?

My government students will be voting on March 6th even though most of them are not yet 18.  Any person who will be 18 on this fall's election day is allowed to vote in a primary and caucus in their state.  Obama is the only Democrat on the ballot, but Romney and Paul have already qualified (even though Perry and Gingrich haven't).  During my Ph.D. years I read several quantitative papers on what increases the likelihood of voting.  One of the independent variables is whether or not there is pre-registration (which is why I brought the registration ballots to class so my students would not forget that part).  A second one is being married, income and interesting enough just the practice of voting.  So on March 6th my students will begin that practice.  Even if they have lost their precinct card I will show them how to get the location online.  Next I will have them put our county's voting link in their phone so they will get a reminder to get their absentee ballot next fall and then by election day, I am hoping they will already have two votes under their belts.  Of all my assignments this year, it will be the most important.

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