Can Policy Reforms Get Young Voters and People of Color to the Polls?
The right to vote lies at the heart of the American political system. And yet, election after election, large swaths of eligible voters — especially young people and communities of color — sit on the sidelines, with potential consequences.
“Having a limited electorate is a huge detriment to the function of our democracy,” says Mindy Romero, a research assistant professor at the USC Price School of Public Policy who studies civic engagement and voter behavior. “Policymakers need to be listening to … a full slate of opinions.”
In 2010, the political sociologist founded the nonpartisan California Civic Engagement Project in Sacramento to investigate why some communities — particularly 18- to 24-year-olds and people of color — stay away from the ballot box.
One factor, she says, is a lack of outreach and mobilization efforts directed at these groups…