Updated as Nov. 3, 2021 at 11:00 p.m. to include data visualization.
According to data released by the Institute for Democracy & Higher Education at Tufts University, 74% of Elon University students cast a ballot in the 2020 election. This number is above the national average of 66% of college students nationally.
From 2016 to 2020, Elon University students cast ballots at a 25 percentage point increase, which is consistent with national voting rates by college students in 2020. The voting rate of college students nationally ranged from 19% to 89%, which was included in the National Study of Learning, Voting and Engagement.
The study indicated that low yield rates have previously been a problem -- that is, students registering to vote but not following through. In 2020, the rate of students who registered to and actually voted hit 80%, up from 69% in 2016.
Vice President for Student Life Jon Dooley said in a press release that organizations such as the nonpartisan collaborative team of the Elon University Political Engagement Work Group and Elon Votes! played large roles in promoting voter registration on campus.
“Engagement in the political process is such an important part of Elon’s mission to prepare global citizens and leaders,” said Dooley. “This significant increase in voter participation is the direct result of outstanding work by Elon Votes! and a dedicated coalition of students, staff, and faculty.”
Heidi Weston, a voting ambassador for Elon Votes!, said the organization helped guide students through the voter registration process last year. Helping students navigate the voting process is one of the reasons Weston joined Elon Votes!.
“It's important for students to be civically engaged because policies and politics from the present will shape the issues we have to deal with for the rest of our lives,” Weston wrote in a statement to Elon News Network. “Also, voting is the best way to make your voice heard and to impact government.”