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Junior Molly DiSandro assisted members of the University of Delaware community register to vote at the Make It Count Voter Engagement Drive on September 24, 2019.
NOVEMBER 15, 2019—At the 2019 ALL IN Challenge Awards Ceremony held on Tuesday, November 12, in Washington, DC, to recognize colleges and universities committed to increasing college student voting rates, the University of Delaware received a gold campus designation for excellence in student voter engagement.
The All In Campus Democracy Challenge presented the gold seal to UD because it was among the 169 U.S. campuses to achieve a student voting rate of 40% to 49% during the 2018 Midterm Election. From 2014 to 2018, UD’s student voting rate increased by nearly 27%.
According to All In, 6.2 million students in 48 states participated in the challenge. A full list of seal awardees can be viewed at https://www.allinchallenge.org/seal-awardees/.
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“We are so proud of our students for making this really remarkable change in voter registration and voter turnout,” said Dr. Lindsay Hoffman, associate director of the Center for Political Communication at the University of Delaware. “It can be hard for college students to vote when they are out of state or moving frequently, but the online registration system—Turbovote – has made it easier to register and get reminders about where and how to vote, no matter your home state. This national recognition wouldn’t be possible without a dedicated group of faculty, staff, administrators, and students who are committed to increasing political and civic engagement at UD.”
Student participation in elections has increased from the 2014 midterm election to the recent 2018 midterm election. According to the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE), an initiative of Tufts University’s Institute for Democracy & Higher Education, voter turnout at the more than 1,000 institutions participating in the study increased by 21 points from 19% to 40%. The University of Delaware’s data reveals that voter turnout among UD students increased nearly 27%, from 14.8% in 2014 – 5% lower than the national average – to 41.6% in 2018 – 2.5% higher than the national average. (See the figure below.)
“We are excited to honor the University of Delaware with an ALL IN Challenge gold seal in recognition of their intentional efforts to increase democratic engagement and full voter participation,” said Jennifer Domagal-Goldman, executive director of the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge. “More institutions like UD are changing culture on campus by institutionalizing nonpartisan democratic engagement efforts that are resulting in the incredible student voter turnout rates that we’ve seen across the country.”
The ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge is a nonpartisan, national initiative recognizing and supporting campuses as they work to increase nonpartisan democratic engagement and full student voter participation. The Challenge encourages higher education institutions to help students form the habits of active and informed citizenship, and make democratic participation a core value on their campus.
More than 560 campuses, enrolling more than 6.2 million students, have joined the Challenge since its launch in summer 2016.