CEDAR FALLS, Iowa—The University of Northern Iowa has received national recognition for its efforts in increasing student voting participation. The university received a Silver Seal award for achieving a student-voting rate of 67.5% in the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge, which recognizes colleges and universities nationwide for their commitment to increasing student voting rates.
The recognition was awarded retroactively to the university for its efforts in the 2016 election. After joining the challenge this past summer, it was discovered that UNI had one of the top two student-voting rates in the country, coming in nearly 18 points above the national average.
“UNI is a campus full of highly engaged and civic-minded students, so it was not a surprise that we would do well, but I am very impressed with the 2016 results,” stated political science professor Justin Holmes. “It reflects not only the engagement of our students, but the hard work of various groups to engage and mobilize them.”
For the 2018 midterm elections, UNI is working on a new unified effort, #PanthersVote, led by the Northern Iowa Student Government (NISG) and university chapters of the American Democracy Project (ADP) and Campus Election Engagement Project (CEEP). The team is currently gearing up for the upcoming National Voter Registration Day on Tuesday, Sept. 25, when several activities are scheduled across campus to help support student voter education and registration.
From Holmes, “Midterm turnout is always lower than presidential years and the drop off is most acute among young people. ADP, NISG, CEEP and other groups are working hard right now to get students registered and to provide them with the information they need to feel informed when voting. We look forward to building on our past success and to continue our tradition of high participation.”
Beyond registration, students are organizing satellite voting stations at various campus locations leading up to Election Day. They will be active again on Nov. 6 for the final effort to get out the vote.
For more information about the #PanthersVote initiative, visit nisg.uni.edu/voter-registration.
Scott Peters, department head & professor, Department of Political Science,
Justin Holmes, associate professor, Department of Political Science, 319-273-6305, firstname.lastname@example.org
Amanda Jahnke Sauer, communications & marketing manager, College of Social & Behavioral Sciences, 319-273-7197, email@example.com