McKendree Commits to Full Student Voter Registration, Participation

Signs on to ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge Commitment

(LEBANON, Ill., June 12, 2020) — McKendree University President Dan Dobbins has joined more than 160 college presidents and chancellors in committing to full student voter registration and participation in all elections through the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge. ALL IN and its Higher Education Presidents Council has launched a call to action for higher education presidents and chancellors to fully engage eligible students in electoral participation.

“Through our participation in the ALL IN Challenge, we are committed to working with campus stakeholders to increase electoral participation in 2020 and beyond,” said President Dobbins. “We value providing opportunities to empower all eligible voters at McKendree to register and turn out to vote.”

Dr. Ann Collins, professor of political science, and Paula Martin, director of Holman Library, lead the ALL In Democracy Challenge and nonpartisan voter engagement activities on campus. In 2019, McKendree University received a Silver Seal award for achieving a student voting rate between 30 and 39 percent.

While college student voter participation in elections increased from the 2014 midterm election to the recent 2018 midterm election, less than half of college students made their voices heard by casting their ballots. According to the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement, voter turnout at the more than 1,000 institutions participating in the study increased by 21 points from 19 percent to 40 percent.

“Today, young people are truly seeing how the decisions their elected officials make impact their everyday lives, and in this critical time, ensuring that they are able to make their voices heard safely is critical,” said Jennifer Domagal-Goldman, executive director of the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge. “We are excited to partner with higher education leaders across the country to change the culture at colleges and universities around engagement in our country’s political process.”

McKendree pledges to ensure all eligible students are able to register to vote and cast informed ballots in the 2020 general election and beyond. It commits to fostering a campus culture that supports nonpartisan civic learning, political engagement and student voter participation.

The ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge is a nonpartisan, national initiative recognizing and supporting campuses as they work to increase nonpartisan democratic engagement and full student voter participation. The Challenge encourages higher education institutions to help students form the habits of active and informed citizenship, and to make democratic participation a core value on campus. More than 650 campuses, enrolling more than 7.5 million students, have joined the Challenge since its launch in summer 2016.