In the last midterm election, just 14 percent of students at the University of Michigan cast a ballot.
The shockingly low figure “was a wake-up call,” Edie Goldenberg tells Farah Stockman in the March 3 New York Times article: “How college campuses are trying to tap students’ voting power.”
“Nobody realized that so few students were turning out to vote,” Goldenberg continues. This November, Goldenberg has set a goal to reverse that—by more than doubling student turnout.
Stockman writes that college campuses like U-M “are often seen as hotbeds of political engagement,” except when it comes to voting in elections. Now, “the university itself is getting behind the effort,” by using student data and strategies like introducing a voter competition among Big Ten rival schools.
Universities across the country are implementing various student voter intiatives, Stockman says, from including voter registration in student orientations (Northwestern University) to holding a voter registration party with an Uncle Sam photo booth (East Tennessee State University).
At U-M, the campus-wide effort will be spearheaded by Turn Up Turnout (TUT), a nonpartisan group Goldenberg founded to promote informed voting on campus.
- Read more about Goldberg's involvement in founding the Big Ten Voting Challenge and Turn Up Turnout.