College Student Voting and Registration in the Time of COVID-19

By Michael J. Hanmer, Richard G. Niemi, and Thomas H. Jackson

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We investigate options for college students to register and vote in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Thedisruptions from COVID-19 have hit individuals across all walks of life. But with regard to electionsthe pandemic might have an especially large effect on college students who are not able to return to campusbecause their school has shifted exclusively to online learning or because they are not comfortable being inclose contact with large numbers of people. We explain where students can register and vote for five sets ofcircumstances, focusing on two groups: (1) students who are presently registered to vote in their collegetown but are temporarily away; and (2) students who are not yet registered but have lived in their collegetown and are temporarily away. Our overall conclusion is that despite disruptions to their living arrange-ments, students generally have an option to register and vote in their college town.

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