Student record

UNI among top colleges for student vote – Northern Iowan

As the 2022 midterm elections fast approach, the United States finds itself at a crossroads with new representatives and voters. However, politicians often struggle to convince young citizens to vote regularly. UNI recently took this initiative by ranking among the best campuses in the country in terms of voter turnout.

In 2020, voter turnout among young adults (aged 18-24) passed the significant 50% mark. Individual colleges across the country have set themselves the goal of improving campus-wide voter turnout. Colleges submitted action plans to a national organization known as the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge in order to qualify for this year’s honor roll. Participation in the honor roll itself soared to new heights as the list of eligible schools with enrollment rates of 85% or more grew nearly eightfold, from 16 a year ago to 127 now. With this in mind, UNI’s voter registration competency is a significant achievement spearheaded by students across campus.

UNI can expect a follow-up with this year’s elections. A Harvard Kennedy School poll presented data indicating that young voters were likely to make a similar appearance in the 2022 midterm as in the 2018 midterm, which holds the current record for youth voter turnout. adults in a midterm election.

Justin Holmes is an associate professor in UNI’s Department of Political Science and leads campaign engagement on campus. He stressed the importance of non-partisan participation while committing to providing an accessible source of information. Holmes explained that the Panthers Vote initiative “is about coordinating active voter initiatives.”

In addition to submitting an action plan, UNI ran a social media campaign under the tag #panthersvote. This campaign will resume the first week of October as the mid-term approaches. #panthersvote is dedicated to providing essential information on election-related issues and encouraging students to vote by providing instructions on how to complete the registration process in less than three minutes.

They organize events like unity marches where participants design posters that support equality or address issues that demand change. The Panthers Vote coalition also hosted trivia nights with prizes. All information regarding these events can be found online with #panthersvote or at panthersvote.uni.edu.

They are always looking for volunteers to help with registration or professional events. For more information on how to start voting or to ask questions about the Panthers Vote coalition, contact Holmes.

Holmes clarified that his primary concerns with the vote were student awareness and motivation. “There’s a lot of bullshit out there,” he said. “People don’t vote if they feel overwhelmed.” The Panthers Vote initiative aims to present information easily and without bias.

Pressing issues grip our country, including the overturning of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade case and the national security of the United States amid attacks in Ukraine. Understanding that a single vote can help influence these issues increases the voice of young citizens, and the UNI student body is taking the necessary steps to make a strong statement by showing up big in the voting booths in November.