Simpson College earned multiple awards this week for student voter engagement at the 2021 ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge awards ceremony. Simpson earned both the Most Improved Voter Turnout Award for the state of Iowa and the ALL IN Gold Seal for its student voting rate in 2020.
The ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge hosted its third biennial awards ceremony Monday, Nov. 8 and Tuesday, Nov. 9. The challenge recognizes select higher institutions, educators and students for their extraordinary work in student voter engagement during the 2020 presidential election.
Simpson discovered last week it set a new institutional record with a 75.3% voting rate in 2020. The 14.7% increase was the best among ALL IN participating schools from Iowa. In addition to the state’s Most Improved Voter Turnout Award, Simpson’s voting rate qualified for a Gold Seal from ALL IN. The Gold Seal is awarded to institutions with a voting rate between 70 and 80%.
“The rise in voter participation and engagement for college students in last year’s presidential election was record-setting and will undoubtedly be tied to the efforts of the dedicated students, faculty, administrators, and partner organizations that are part of the ALL IN Challenge network,” said Jen Domagal-Goldman, executive director of the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge. “Partners in our nonpartisan state voting challenges worked collaboratively and diligently to ensure that participating colleges and universities had the best information and tools with which to ensure that college students - many of whom are first-time voters - had the information and access necessary to register and cast informed ballots.”
The 2020 election cycle saw unprecedented voter registration and turnout among college students according to the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE), a research study of the Institute for Democracy in Higher Education (IDHE) at the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life at Tufts University. NSLVE reported that 66 percent of college students voted in the 2020 elections, a 14 point increase from 2016.
About the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge
The ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge (ALL IN) is a national, nonpartisan initiative of Civic Nation, a 501(c)(3) organization. ALL IN strives for a more inclusive democracy—one in which all voices are heard. We believe that higher education plays a role in graduating students into voters and in closing electoral participation gaps that persist by race and age. Through an intentionally designed program—which provides structure, support, and recognition—ALL IN strengthens college and university efforts to improve civic learning, political engagement, and voter participation. Ensuring that students are registered to vote and participate in all elections is a key component of our work.
Learn more and see a full list of winning campuses at allinchallenge.org/awards-ceremony.
About the John C. Culver Public Policy Center
The John C. Culver Public Policy Center was established at Simpson College in 2010 to honor the service of John C. Culver, who served the people of Iowa for 16 years in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. Simpson College strives to honor the example of John C. Culver by inspiring young people to pursue careers in public service with integrity and moral courage. The Center’s nonpartisan programs seek to educate and inspire young people to actively participate in our democracy and encourage them to consider public service as their life’s work.
About Simpson College
Simpson College is a private, liberal arts college located in Iowa with campuses in Indianola, West Des Moines and online. Founded in 1860, the college has 1,078 undergraduate and graduate students. Simpson offers 75 majors, minors and programs in addition to three graduate programs. Outside of the classroom, Simpson is a member of the NCAA Division III American Rivers Conference, hosts eight Greek houses on campus and sponsors many extracurricular options for student involvement.
Bryan Geelan, marketing communication director