UWL receives award for efforts to increase student voter turnout
LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) — The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse is being honored for having one of the highest student voting rates in the country.
UWL was given a gold seal at the national ALL-IN Challenge Awards in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday.
The award is given to colleges and universities committed to increasing college student voting rates.
UWL received a student voting rate between 40% and 49%. A total of 4,796 UWL students voted in the 2018 mid-term, or about 47%, compared to about 28 percent in 2014, according to the National Study of Learning, Voting and Engagement (NSLVE). This was a higher percentage than the 39% voting rate across all institutions nationally who participated in the NSLVE.
“Our students have a long and outstanding tradition of participating in elections at rates well above the national average, so we’re very proud to see them being given this impressive national recognition,” says UWL Chancellor Joe Gow. “And it would be wonderful if this much-deserved citation leads to even higher rates of UWL student voting in future elections.”
Leading up to the 2018 midterm elections, UWL students Jack Lawlis and Kathryn Draper led voter registration efforts and also worked to improve voter turnout on election day. The two worked with the League of Women Voters, the city clerk and student volunteers to get out the vote.
“Voting’s the most tangible way to have your voice heard. So, you can speak – obviously that’s a great way to have your voice heard – but you can be guaranteed that when you vote that your representatives, your legislators, they will listen to you,” said UWL student Jack Lawlis. “So, this is really facilitating the democratic process in the most holistic way that we possibly can.”
Jack Lawlis is registering UWL students to vote leading up to the Wisconsin presidential primary on Tuesday, April 7, 2020. He will be in a different campus residence hall every Monday and Wednesday from 5-7 p.m. through Monday, Nov. 25. He will be in Drake Hall from 5-7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 13.
A full list of ALL IN seal awardees can be viewed at www.allinchallenge.org/awards-ceremony/
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