At Home or On Campus? How Duke Students Decide Where to Register to Vote

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Before they ever step into the voting booth, eligible Duke students must first decide whether to register at their permanent home address or their Duke address in North Carolina. 84 Duke students were surveyed to assess what factors play a role in the registration decision and whether the competitiveness of elections was among the most important factors. Four qualitative interviews were also conducted to collect quotes and anecdotes to highlight the trends found through the survey. Student who rated their home state as Not Competitive at All were the most likely to vote in North Carolina. No matter the competitiveness of their home state or major, survey respondents valued the competitiveness of elections as more important in their registration decision than the importance of registering where it is easiest. Students’ political engagement was positively correlated with a likelihood to register strategically, while lower levels of political engagement was associated with registering in their state where the process is easiest. Major and academic area of study were not found to significantly affect registration decisions and the factors that were most important.





Callard, Lucy (2021). At Home or On Campus? How Duke Students Decide Where to Register to Vote. Honors thesis, Duke University. Retrieved from

Dukes student scholarship is made available to the public using a Creative Commons Attribution / Non-commercial / No derivative (CC-BY-NC-ND) license.