Virginia is for Student Voting

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    Cross-posted at Virginia Young Democrats

    Did you know that there are eight Virginia House of Delegates districts where over 10% of the population is college students?  In this brief post, I will go over the districts where student voter registration can make the most impact – giving young voters a strong voice that they are not always afforded.

    71: Between Virginia Union and Virginia Commonwealth, the state’s most Democratic district has up to 38,000 students within it’s borders.  At 47.5% student voter capacity, it’s appropriately represented by Young Democrat for Life Jen McClellan

    12: Containing all of Radford University and 2/3 of Virginia Polytechnic Institute, this open-seat district has a whopping 35% population of students.

    56: All of the University of Virginia is located in Mr. David Toscano’s 56th district – an impressive 25% of the population.

    26: Between James Madison University and Eastern Mennonite, Tony Wilt has as many students in his district as Mr. Toscano at 25%

    23: Virginia’s largest private university, Liberty, is known for relatively high student voter participation and accounts for 22.5% of Mr. Scott Garrett’s district.  Lynchburg College brings the number to a round 25%.

    37: Despite having a high percentage of commuter students, George Mason’s 20,000-strong undergraduate program would still make up 25% of Mr. David Bulova’s district.

    79/89: After redistricting, each of these South Hampton Roads districts contains about half of Old Dominion’s 24,000 students – that’s 15% of the population for each district.  Norfolk State is located across town, in the 90th district.

    Honorary Mentions:

    7: Containing sections of Virginia Tech

    69: Home to many off-campus students of VCU

    63: Virginia State University and Richard Bland College add up to 7000 students – almost 10% in a district with historically low turnout.

    93: Just shy of 8000 students, the College of William and Mary is proud to be represented by Tribe Alumna Robin Abbott.

    Please note that these numbers were calculated using the combined undergraduate and graduate programs (where appropriate), and took into consideration only the maximum amount of students – so I did not account for the possible commuter population that would be spread out amongst many districts, but neither did I include online students at a school such as Liberty.  All numbers were divided by 80,000 – the average (though not exact) number of total voters in each House of Delegates district.  VCCS was not included, but it enrolls 300,000 Virginians – almost 4% of the population of the Commonwealth!

    Beyond this list, smaller schools such as Mary Washington, VMI/Washington & Lee, Christopher Newport, Hampton University, Longwood/Hampden-Sydney, UVA Wise, Marymount, Mary Baldwin, Regent, Shenandoah, Hollins, Randolph-Macon, University of Richmond, and many more schools contribute to the political identity of their communities.

    Antonio M. Elias

    Political Director

    Virginia Young Democrats

    • notlarrysabato

      80,000 is the population of each district and includes minors.  Obviously very few college students are under 18.  So the students make up an even bigger percentage of VAP (Voting Age Population).

    • Thanks for posting this Antonio.

      I notice the 26th on the list. I know the Democrats contested the seat very strongly in 2005 and lost due to under performance in Harrisonburg, I wonder if a future candidate could ever improve through better campaigning in the city, especially reaching out to students.

    • Isaac Sarver

      Particularly for Democrats, is getting this pool of voters registered and to the polls. I think a few campaigns (particularly Scott Foster’s race for City Council in Williamsburg) found a way to successfully mobilize.

      There’s actually been a fairly recent move in Fairfax to put a voting precinct on the GMU campus. Removal of small obstacles to voting can make a world of difference in allowing young people to participate.