ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge Honors Higher Education Institutions, Educators and Students Who Increased Student Voter Engagement During the 2020 Elections
Today, the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge hosted its third biennial awards ceremony to recognize select higher education institutions, educators, and students for their extraordinary work in student voter engagement during the 2020 presidential election. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and most students learning virtually, the honorees ensured students across the country could cast their ballots.
The 2020 presidential election engaged the largest and most diverse group of college students in U.S. history. Winona State University received the 2021 Gold Seal in the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge. More than 840 institutions enrolling close to nine million students participate in the ALL IN Challenge.
“Earning the Gold Seal for student voter registration and turnout is the highest honor received by Winona State to date as a voter friendly campus,” Kara Lindaman WSU Professor of Political Science and Public Administration said.
The student led-group, Warriors Vote, designed a student voter outreach campaign that exceeded expectations with an unprecedented turnout.
“To do this during the pandemic, our entire campus community really demonstrated how much the power of the franchise, agency and voice matter,” Lindaman said. “With these students leading, our future looks bright.”
The 2020 election cycle saw unprecedented voter registration and turnout among college students according to the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE), a research study of the Institute for Democracy in Higher Education (IDHE) at the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life at Tufts University. IDHE reported that 66 percent of college students voted in the 2020 election, a 14 point increase from 2016. Data provided by IDHE shows WSU voting rate increased by 9.2 points to 73.8% in 2020.
“The rise in voter participation and engagement for college students in last year’s presidential election amidst a global pandemic was tremendous and will undoubtedly be tied to the tireless efforts of the dedicated students, faculty, administrators, and partner organizations that are part of the ALL IN Challenge network,” said Jen Domagal-Goldman, Executive Director of the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge. “The hard work of these trailblazing honorees will help support many of the country’s future leaders in fulfilling the equitable, engaged vision of democracy to which we aspire.”
About the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge
The ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge (ALL IN) is a national, nonpartisan initiative of Civic Nation, a 501(c)(3) organization. ALL IN strives for a more inclusive democracy—one in which all voices are heard. We believe that higher education plays a role in graduating students into voters and in closing electoral participation gaps that persist by race and age. Through an intentionally designed program—which provides structure, support, and recognition—ALL IN strengthens college and university efforts to improve civic learning, political engagement, and voter participation. Ensuring that students are registered to vote and participate in all elections is a key component of our work.
Learn more and see a full list of winning campuses at https://allinchallenge.org/awards-ceremony