UMaine Named One of the Country’s Best Colleges for Student Voting
UMaine was recently named by Washington Monthly as one of the country’s best colleges for student voting. This designation is in part due to the efforts of Honors alumna Jenny Desmond (now UMaine Coordinator of Leadership Development), Rob Glover (Associate Professor of Political Science and Honors), and our UMaine UVote Student Voting Ambassadors – many of whom were Honors students.
2020 marks the first time in history more than half of all 18- to 24-year-olds across the country cast ballots in a presidential election. Extraordinary increases in voter turnout are a direct result of hard work and sustained efforts. Here at UMaine, faculty, students, and volunteer voting organizers are mobilizing young Mainers to register and cast ballots – resulting in a steadily increasing turnout. In 2016, UMaine students voted at a rate roughly 17% higher than the national average for 18-29-year-olds (and nearly 10% higher than we’d seen on campus in the 2012 presidential election). The 2018 midterm elections saw UMaine’s turnout climb over 14% from the last midterm election in 2014. This cross-campus effort is ensuring that more UMaine students than ever are registering, voting, and even working at the polls on Election Day. Read more from Honors and an Election Year Like No Other, featured on pages 11 and 12, in the most recent 2020 issue of Minerva.
“Watching students take on these leadership roles was undoubtedly the most rewarding part of this strange, unprecedented election,” praised Rob Glover. “Our Voting Ambassadors (many were Honors students) built relationships with Orono officials, gaining invaluable experience with local election protocols. They played a vital role in this aspect of the election process, but were able to understand the importance of the relationship between UMaine and the town of Orono. These students contributed to the mutual collaboration that is vital to our strong campus-community partnership.”
See also America’s Best Colleges for Student Voting, featured in the Washington Monthly, for more highlights about this success.