Campus Voting Access Project

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In collaboration with MTV Entertainment Group, the Campus Voting Access Project is Duke Master in Interdisciplinary Data Science (MIDS) student-led effort to better understand variation in the accessibility of polling places to college students across the United States.

Methodology

For this study, we looked at three types of data: college demographics, college campus location, and polling place datasets. We used geo-analysis libraries (GeoPandas) in python to determine the shortest distance between a college and it’s nearest polling place or early voting site. We also used the Google Maps API to calculate the distance (in miles) and the duration (in minutes) from the college centroid to the polling place and early voting site. Thank you to the Center for Public Integrity and Ballot Ready for making their Election Day polling place and early voting site data available to us for this study.

Results Summary

Through our analysis, preliminary findings show that in the 35 states that offer in-person early voting options, 90% of colleges do not have an early voting site on campus and 54% of the colleges are more than 1 mile from their nearest early voting option. In terms of the 45 states where we have Election Day polling data in 2020, 76% of colleges did not have in-person Election Day voting options and 74% of colleges had no in-person voting options at all (Election Day or early voting). As far as the student perspective (looking at the number of students rather than the number of individual campuses), only 25% of college students in 2020 had an early voting option on campus and 44% of college students had an Election Day voting option on campus. These preliminary findings will be expanded upon in the coming months. In the meantime, however, if you have any questions, please reach out to XXXXX for any inquiries into the date, or XXXX for any press requests.

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In collaboration with MTV Entertainment Group, the Campus Voting Access Project is a Duke Master in Interdisciplinary Data Science (MIDS) student-led effort to better understand variation in the accessibility of polling places to college students across the United States.

Methodology

For this study, we looked at three types of data: college demographics, college campus location, and polling place datasets. We used geo-analysis libraries (GeoPandas) in python to determine the shortest distance between a college and it’s nearest polling place or early voting site. We also used the Google Maps API to calculate the distance (in miles) and the duration (in minutes) from the college centroid to the polling place and early voting site. Thank you to the Center for Public Integrity and Ballot Ready for making their Election Day polling place and early voting site data available to us for this study.


Results Summary

Through our analysis, preliminary findings show that in the 35 states that offer in-person early voting options, 90% of colleges do not have an early voting site on campus and 54% of the colleges are more than 1 mile from their nearest early voting option. In terms of the 45 states where we have Election Day polling data in 2020, 76% of colleges did not have in-person Election Day voting options and 74% of colleges had no in-person voting options at all (Election Day or early voting). As far as the student perspective (looking at the number of students rather than the number of individual campuses), only 25% of college students in 2020 had an early voting option on campus and 44% of college students had an Election Day voting option on campus. These preliminary findings will be expanded upon in the coming months. In the meantime, however, if you have any questions, please reach out to XXXXX for any inquiries into the date, or XXXX for any press requests.