two students with voting swag outside of coates library
Trinity Receives Gold Seal Award for Student Voter Participation Efforts
2021 ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge encourages student voter engagement

Trinity University received the 2021 Gold Seal award for nonpartisan student voter participation from the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge, a national program that recognizes exceptional student voter engagement during the 2020 presidential election.

The 2020 presidential election engaged the largest and most diverse group of college students in U.S. history. More than 840 institutions enrolling close to nine million students participated in the ALL IN Challenge. Universities achieving a gold seal had a student voting rate between 70% and 79% during the 2020 presidential election.

In 2020, Trinity students increased their presidential election voting rate to 75.6%, up 22.9% from the previous presidential election in 2016. That compares with an average voting rate of 69% for similarly classified universities. Furthermore, Trinity increased its number of eligible registered voters to 93.3% from 86.8% in 2016, and raised the number of male student voters from 39.9% to 67% over the same period.

In 2019, Trinity initiated the TU 2020 Census and Voter Engagement Task Force, composed of a mix of students, faculty, and staff. The task force met virtually every two weeks ahead of the 2020 election and led voter registration drives and competitions, created social media content and lectures to promote voting, and held a couple of in-person events such as driving voters to the polls. 

“It is incredible that even in the midst of a pandemic, Trinity came together as a community to make our voices heard,” says Brian Yancelson ’22, a member of the task force. “People like to say college students don’t vote, but we proved that when real attention is paid to engaging everyone, college students will meet the moment.”

The data was collected by Tufts University’s Institute for Democracy and Higher Education (IDHE) and provided through the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE) reports that give college campuses a unique opportunity to benchmark their democratic engagement efforts. National results are found here.

Trinity’s Census and Voter Engagement Task Force provides voting and registration information and support.

ALL IN is a national, nonpartisan initiative of Civic Nation, a 501(c)(3) organization that strives for a more inclusive democracy – one in which all voices are heard. 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.

NSLVE is the nation's largest study of college and university student voting. Institutions must opt-in to the study, and at this time, nearly 1,200 campuses of all types—community colleges, research universities, minority-serving and women's colleges, state universities, and private institutions—participate. The dataset reflects all 50 states and the District of Columbia and includes 49 of the nation's 50 flagship schools. IDHE uses de-identified student records to ensure student privacy. The 2020 dataset is robust with 8,880,700 voting-eligible students representing 1,051 colleges and universities.

Ted Gartner '91 helps tell Trinity's story as a member of Strategic Communications and Marketing.

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