Department of State Launches Campus Voting Challenge

Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar unveiled the Pennsylvania Campus Voting Challenge, a statewide, nonpartisan voter turnout competition for colleges designed to increase civic engagement among students.

“Our democracy’s future depends on cultivating informed and engaged citizens,” Secretary Boockvar said. “This challenge assists Pennsylvania colleges in their efforts to develop the next generation of civic leaders and encourages young Pennsylvanians to participate fully in our democracy.”

Two- and four-year colleges and universities that enroll in the challenge will compete in three award categories:  highest voter turnout, most improved voter turnout and highest rate of voter registration for the November 2020 general election.

Winners will be determined by data from the National Study of Learning, Voting and Engagement (NSLVE) at the Institute for Democracy & Higher Education at Tufts University in Massachusetts.

Participating schools commit to convening a campus-wide committee to develop and implement an action plan for advancing non-partisan civic engagement and increased voter registration among students.

The Pennsylvania challenge is a collaboration between the Department of State and the national, non-partisan nonprofit ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge. Pennsylvania schools that sign up for the statewide challenge will be automatically enrolled in the nationwide challenge and eligible for national awards. Nearly 600 colleges across the country participate in the national challenge.

“Preparing students with the knowledge, skills and experiences needed to become contributing members of our democracy has historically been a responsibility of higher education,” said Jennifer Domagal-Goldman, Ph.D., executive director of the ALL IN Challenge. “We are thrilled that the Department of State has joined the challenge and will be promoting informed engagement in our democracy as a meaningful part of campus culture.”