CIRCLE (The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement)
conducts research on the civic and political engagement of young Americans.
The Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement

How to Engage Youth in Elections and Beyond

January 30th, 2017
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In recent months, both before and after voters went to the polls on November 8, conversations about political engagement and civic life in America have centered largely on the 2016 presidential election. At CIRCLE, we offered extensive data, analysis, and commentary related to youth participation throughout both parties’ primaries and in the general election, including our exclusive preliminary estimate that 51% of eligible young people, ages 18-29, voted in the presidential contest between Secretary Hillary Clinton and now-President Trump.

How do we engage that other half of youth who did not vote? Our research underscores that elections must be, not the beginning or the end, but one step a lifelong process of youth engagement that begins with strong civic education and includes investment from all sectors of society.

We’ve created the infographics below to highlight specific evidence-based actions that families, educators, nonprofits, political campaigns, and elected officials can take to strengthen young people’s participation in democracy. The concrete steps we recommend are backed by the latest research on youth political engagement, and aim to produce tangible improvements in registration and voting rates that will help the youth electorate be more representative and improve equity in our political life.

Explore these graphics, think about where you can have an impact, and share them with others!

(Click each one to enlarge)


Path to Youth Agency Graphic



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