Civic engagement in the Inland Empire: Karthick Ramakrishnan

Published by CSI UCR on

Young voters and Latinos are driving civic engagement to new heights in the Inland Empire, but a lot of work that remains to be done. That is the major thrust of a comprehensive report on civic engagement in the Inland Empire, which our Center for Social Innovation released this past week. Our report found that voting in the region nearly quadrupled among 18 to 24 year-olds between 2014 and 2018, tripled among 25 to 34 year-olds, and more than doubled among Latinos in the region.

Granted, the 2018 midterm election saw an unusually high level of voter interest for midterm elections everywhere. The turnout rate statewide in California reached nearly 51 percent, levels that we have not seen since 1982. Voting in the Inland Empire was lower, at 43 percent in 2018, but this was still a major improvement over 2014, when turnout was just below 25 percent. The increases we found for young voters and Latinos in the Inland Empire were much higher than the jumps we found for the region overall.

Why accounts for the uptick in youth and Latino turnout, and what does it tell us about our region’s future?

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