Report: Voting on UW-Madison campus up in 2018

UW-Madison found student voting on campus during last year’s election rose more than 17 percentage points compared to four years ago.

In the 2018 election, there was a 52.9% participation rate on campus. That’s compared to 35.5% participation in 2014.

“These results show that we as students were excited to vote in 2018,” said Laura Downer, chair of the Associated Students of Madison. “We want to have a say in the future of our country, and we know how crucial voting is to amplifying our voice. I’m looking forward to even higher student participation in 2020!”

The report is part of the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement, conducted by the Institute for Democracy & Higher Education at Tufts University in Massachusetts. The study shows nationwide, voting participation increased on average, compared to the 2014 midterm.

UW-Madison partnered with the Madison City Clerk’s Office and other groups for voter engagement efforts during the 2018 elections. Those included registration drives, publicity efforts, discussion panels and a debate. The efforts won a 2019 Community-University Partnership Award.

The UW campus also participated in the Big Ten Voting Challenge. The nonpartisan effort pitted all 14 Big Ten universities against each other in a competition to see who could have the highest voter turnout percentages. Those results will be released next month.

Meanwhile, voter registration efforts are already underway for the 2020 elections. Tuesday is National Voting Registration Day.

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