Monday, Nov 15, 2021
Student voter rate rose to 74% in 2020 election
by Rachel Stengel '14, '20
Rider University earned a gold seal from the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge for achieving a student voter rate of 70-80% in the 2020 election. More than 840 institutions enrolling close to nine million students participated in the 2020 ALL IN Challenge. This accolade also marks a significant increase in Rider's student voter participation, which rose from 52% in 2016 to 74% in 2020.
The University was honored during a virtual ceremony on Nov. 8. Rider has been recognized as a leader in student voting since the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge began in 2016 with a bronze seal followed by a silver seal in 2018.
"I am so proud of our students and everyone that contributed to this effort," says Joan Liptrot, director of Rider's Office of Service & Civic Engagement. "I especially want to thank faculty in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences and the Norm Brodsky College of Business, the Office of Sustainability Management, the Center for Diversity and Inclusion, the Rebovich Center for New Jersey Politics, Residence Life, Sorority and Fraternity Life, Student Government Association and our many student volunteers. They have all been incredible partners."
Led by Rider's Office of Service & Civic Engagement, the University launched its #RiderVotes campaign, which focused on three areas to increase student voting — registering students to vote, educating about the importance of voting and ensuring they vote on Election Day 2020.
Beginning in July 2020, the Rider Votes team actively recruited students to register to vote at a number of campus events and voter registration drives. A number of trainings and education events were held about registering to vote, thinking critically about issues while deciding who to vote for, learning about election history, candidate information and more. On Election Day, the Student Government Association provided shuttle service to local polling places for students.
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% of college students voted in the 2020 election, a 14 point increase from 2016.
“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,” says 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.”
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.