Voter Mobilization

Voter Mobilization

By Chelsea N. Kaufman and Joseph M. Ellis, Wingate University

Wingate University is a private, nonprofit, comprehensive university located southeast of Charlotte, North Carolina. More than 3,600 students are enrolled, approximately 72% of which are undergraduate students. During the Fall 2020 semester, 1,778 students lived on campus. Most students are from North Carolina and most enroll at age 18. From 2016 to 2020, the university observed a 272% increase in in-person voting among residential students who voted on-campus. This accomplishment was truly a campus-wide commitment, including the history and political science department, the athletics department, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, the community engagement program (i.e., known as W’Engage), and student government.  This article discusses the various efforts undertaken to promote student voting on campus through voter education and direct mobilization. We anticipate that not all aspects of our specific approach will translate to every campus. However, it is our intention that from our examples, other departments will be able to adapt the approach to their own campus and further these efforts to promote voter mobilization.

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