Mike Ward, vice president of voter engagement at Democracy Works,
congratulated Make It Count’s members for helping nearly 10 percent of
UD’s undergraduate student body register to vote, request an absentee
ballot or sign up for election reminders in 2019.
Williams attributes the notable engagement efforts to a series of
campus-wide events organized by Make It Count members that were focused
on fostering conversations about civic engagement and connecting
students with voting resources.
“Make It Count is building a movement far greater than just our
organization. We are mobilizing our peers to shift our campus culture,”
said Williams, a senior studying public policy. “One day, being a Blue
Hen will be synonymous with being an engaged member of the community.”
For Thurman, the recognition serves as motivation to push harder.
“What does this mean for the University of Delaware as a whole?” said
Thurman. “I would say this truly speaks to the possibility of achieving
our campaign’s goal of having 100 percent of UD’s eligible students —
and even faculty and staff — registered to vote.”
“We are so proud of our students for making this really remarkable
change in voter registration and voter turnout,” said Lindsay Hoffman,
associate director of the UD Center for Political Communication. “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.”
Nationwide, 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, an initiative
of Tufts University’s Institute for Democracy and Higher
Education, voter turnout at the more than 1,000 institutions
participating in its study increased by 21 points from 19 to 40
percent. UD’s data reveals that voter turnout among UD students
increased nearly 27 percent, from 14.8 percent in 2014 — 5 percent lower
than the national average — to 41.6 percent in 2018, which is 2.5
percent higher than the national average.
Make It Count encourages students, staff and faculty to visit the UD TurboVote Portal to sign up to receive election reminders, get registered to vote and apply for absentee ballots.
About the UD Make It Count campaign
The UD Make It Count campaign
is a nonpartisan, student-run movement with a mission to increase voter
registration and nonpartisan civic engagement across the University of
Delaware campus and the State of Delaware through voter engagement
drives, facilitated discourse and educational programming to create
lifelong ambassadors for democratic involvement.
Article by Chris Kelley; photos by Evan Krape
Published Feb. 12, 2020