MILWAUKEE _ The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee has received a platinum seal for excellence in student voter engagement from a leading voter advocacy group after voting rates increased in the 2018 midterm election.
The ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge awards platinum seals, its highest rating, for student voting rates above 50%. A full list of seal awardees can be viewed here.
The seals are based on voter turnout data from the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE), an initiative of Tufts University’s Institute for Democracy & Higher Education. Here are the 2018 midterm voting rates among UWM campuses, and the increase from 2014:
• Main campus: 54.1%, up from 42%.
• Washington County: 60.3%, up from 51.4%.
• Waukesha: 61%, up from 47.1%.
More information on each campus’ performance can be found by clicking here. Under a UW System restructuring, UW-Waukesha and UW-Washington County became part of UW-Milwaukee in 2018.
“UW-Milwaukee is delighted to receive this national recognition for our efforts to increase student voting,” Chancellor Mark Mone said. “Our campus community is committed to working together to reduce apathy, increase engagement and graduate civic-minded students prepared to solve the pressing challenges that face our nation and the world.”
Most recently, UWM had a cross-disciplinary committee prior to the 2018 election that focused on increasing student voter registration, engagement and outreach. The effort, along with the City of Milwaukee Early Voting site on campus and heightened interest by today’s college students in the political process, all contributed to an increase in turnout, said Keri Duce, UWM director of external relations.
Campuses submitted their NSLVE turnout data to the ALL IN Challenge. Overall, the average voter turnout among institutions participating in the NSLVE was 39.1% in the 2018 midterm, up from 19.7% in 2014.
Colleges and universities were recognized last week by the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge at an awards ceremony in Washington. The group describes itself as a nonpartisan, national initiative that recognizes and supports campuses as they work to increase nonpartisan democratic engagement and full student voter participation.
“We are excited to honor the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with an ALL IN Challenge platinum seal in recognition of their intentional efforts to increase democratic engagement and full voter participation,” said Jennifer Domagal-Goldman, executive director of the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge. “More institutions like UWM are changing culture on campus by institutionalizing nonpartisan democratic engagement efforts that are resulting in the incredible student voter turnout rates that we’ve seen across the country.”
The challenge encourages higher education institutions to help students form the habits of active and informed citizenship, and to make democratic participation a core value on their campus. More than 560 campuses, enrolling more than 6.2 million students, have joined the challenge since its launch in summer 2016.
Part of Tufts University’s Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life, the Institute for Democracy & Higher Education (IDHE) is an applied research center focused on college and university student political learning and engagement in democracy. IDHE researchers study student voting, equity, campus conditions for student political learning, discourse, participation, and agency for underrepresented and marginalized students. IDHE’s signature initiative, the NSLVE, (https://idhe.tufts.edu/nslve) is a service to colleges and universities that provides participating institutions with tailored reports of their students’ voting rates.
The NSLVE is the only national study of college-student voting. It is based on the voting records of more than 10 million students at more than 1,000 colleges and universities in all 50 states and the District of Columbia; IDHE does not receive any information that could individually identify students or how they voted. The study provides reports to participating colleges and universities, like UWM, which use them to support political learning and civic engagement, as well as to identify and address gaps in political and civic participation.