Survey: 'Berg students turn out for general election

If voter registration and turnout among Heidelberg students in the 2020 general election are a predictor, results should be good again this election week.

Heidelberg’s Office of Student Engagement, headed by Paul Stark, participated in the Institute for Democracy and Higher Education’s National Study of Learning, Voting and Engagement (NSLVE) – the nation’s largest study of college and university student voting. Nearly 1,200 campuses of all types opted into the study, representing all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

The 2020 dataset encompasses nearly 8.9 million voting-eligible students. Among those, the national student voting rate was 66% -- exceeding the rate from the prior presidential election at 52%. 

According to the report, Heidelberg’s student voter turnout was 62.4%, just a tick off the national average but up more than 16% from 2016.

“We are excited to see our students taking ownership of their citizenship,” Paul said. “Our goal is that students serve as global citizens when they leave Heidelberg. Voting today increases voting in the future for our great country.”

Also interesting among Heidelberg University students, the percentage of students registered to vote moved from 81.3% of all students in 2016 to 84.1% of all students in 2020.  But, much more significantly, of those students registered to vote in 2016, 56.8% voted while in 2020 74.1% of all registered student voters made their voices heard.

Heidelberg’s Campus Elections Team, comprised of the Student Athletic Advisory Council, Greek Life Council, Faculty, the Athletics Department, Student Affairs and Beeghly Library, worked hard to increase the number of students who registered to vote and then, convert those registered voters to actual voters, Paul explained. The Ohio Athletic Conference Votes ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge also played an important role in the results among our peer institutions.

Also interesting among college students, the NSLVE survey also notes that in 2020, the national student voter registration rate was 83%, up from 76% in 2016. Even more encouraging: the national student “yield” rate – registered students who actually voted – also was up, at 80% vs. 69% four years prior.

Also interesting among Heidelberg University students, the percentage of students registered to vote moved from 81.3% of all students in 2016 to 84.1% of all students in 2020.  But, much more significantly, of those students registered to vote in 2016, 56.8% voted while in 2020 74.1% of all registered student voters made their voices heard.  

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