The University of Wisconsin was recognized by the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge, a national nonpartisan organization that acknowledges colleges and universities with high voter turnouts.

UW had the highest student voter registration and turnout for the 2020 presidential election among four-year colleges in the state of Wisconsin. UW also improved the most in its voter turnout, according to a university press release.

ALL IN also honored UW senior Tamia Fowlkes for her accomplishments as the Big Ten Voting Challenge intern for the Morgridge Center for Public Service. Fowlkes was named to ALL IN’s national Honor Roll for student voting advocates.

UW student voting up seven percent from 2016 in last November’s electionStudent voter turnout at the University of Wisconsin increased 7.4 percentage points in last year’s presidential election, rising from 65.4% Read…

UW’s voter turnout has increased by 7.4% in the 2020 presidential election compared to the 2016 election. In 2016, 65.4% eligible UW students voted while 72.8% of UW’s eligible students voted in 2020. This number is also higher than the national voting rate of college students in 2020, which was 66%.

UW claims the high numbers of student voter registration and turnout can be traced back to the efforts of BadgersVote, a campus-wide initiative that strives to provide UW students with information about elections. Many individuals, units and departments across campus and the city of Madison, including the Morgridge Center, are involved in BadgersVote with the goal of getting more students involved in elections.

In an email statement to the Badger Herald, the Morgridge Center’s Voter Engagement and Civic Learning Coordinator Zachery Holder said BadgersVote has increased their efforts to improve voter turnout by partnering with other organizations. Holder said includes offering voter ID print stations at polling locations and working to get students access to their ID electronically via voterID.wisc.edu.

“[BadgersVote] has worked closely with community partners like the City Clerk’s Office to ensure registration and voting is accessible to our students,” Holder said. “We have partnered with organizations to provide internships for students to be leaders amongst their peers in helping create events, provide educational resources, and encourage others to make their voice heard.”

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Holder said he thinks UW’s involvement in The Big Ten Voting Challenge was also a factor in the increase in voter turnout.

While many factors influenced the increased voter turnout in 2020, Holder said he believes the intention UW placed on supporting students to be engaged citizens also influenced the turnout.

Though the next presidential election is not for another three years, BadgersVote and other UW organizations are already brainstorming ways to keep the student voter turnout high.

“Democracy never sleeps and all voting is local, through the support of the Morgridge Center for Public Service there continues to be efforts to help educate and get students registered now even during what feels like an off season for elections,” Holder said. “With the new data the coalition is setting new goals and thinking about how to support our students in making their voice heard.”