Otterbein University Recognized for Student Voter Participation

Posted Nov 18, 2022

Otterbein University has been recognized by the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge (ALL IN) as a 2022 ALL IN Most Engaged Campuses for College Student Voting. This national designation recognizes colleges and universities for making intentional efforts to increase student voter participation.

“Otterbein is honored to be named a Most Engaged Campus, and I applaud our students — from those who lead on-campus voter registration drives to those who practice their right to vote,” said Otterbein President John Comerford. “Civic engagement is an important part of being a responsible citizen and our students understand that, as well as how important their vote is to determining the future of their communities and country.”

Last year, Otterbein won the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge’s 2021 Best Action Plan Award. This success is largely the result of #otterbeinVOTES, a voting awareness program coordinated by Otterbein’s Center for Community Engagement (CCE) and the student-led group Raise Your Voice.

Raise Your Voice is a non-partisan group focused on voter education, engagement, and registration. The group holds weekly coffee talks in addition to registration drives and information tables to answer questions about voting.

According to a report from the Institute of Democracy and Higher Education, 74% of Otterbein students voted in 2020, a 12.3% over the voting rate in 2016.

“Students on our campus are beginning to realize that voting is a way that they can voice their opinions and needs to the government,” said Lindsey Payton, co-coordinator of Raise Your Voice. “Students are realizing how much their voice matters.”

In addition to its ALL IN recognition, Otterbein was previously named one of “America’s Best Colleges for Student Voting in 2021” by Washington Monthly and a “Voter Friendly Campus” by the Campus Vote Project.

“College student voter turnout has increased since 2016, and this increase has been driven by students. The ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge is excited to expand our ALL IN Student Voting Honor Roll to recognize these student voting champions across the country,” said Jennifer Domagal-Goldman, Executive Director of the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge. “These students registered voters, served on their campus voting coalitions, spearheaded voter education efforts, advocated for campus polling locations and organized other voter engagement efforts to ensure their peers were confident and informed voters. We are excited to see what they continue to accomplish ahead of the 2022 midterms.”

Campuses that join the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge complete a set of action items, with the support of ALL IN Challenge staff, to institutionalize nonpartisan civic learning, political engagement, and voter participation on their campus. The ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge currently engages over 9 million students from more than 950 institutions in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.