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Denison 2021 ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge Award Winner

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November 12, 2021

Denison University was recognized by the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge for its exceptional work in voter registration. The college received the Champion Award for Highest Overall Voter Registration Rate of all participating institutions. DU Votes, Denison’s student-led, non-partisan voter education, and registration organization, ensured that 99.6% of eligible Denison students were registered to vote in 2020.

Denison was also recognized as a Platinum Seal awardee, for an 80%–89% voter participation in the 2020 Presidential Election. More than 840 institutions enrolled nearly nine million students to participate in the ALL IN Challenge.

DU Votes Co-Coordinators, Jacob Rains ‘21, and Tait Ferguson ‘23, were also nominated and recognized for their efforts.

Ferguson, an environmental studies major, says, “I’m a big believer in community-driven change - for me voting is the first step in creating that change.”

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 Denison’s voting rate increased by 14.9% to 82.9% from 2016 to 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.