LMC Student Voter Participation Doubled in 2018 Efforts continue with September 24 Voter Registration Day
A national report released on September 20 shows that voting among Lake Michigan College students doubled in just four years, with participation rates increasing from 17 percent in the 2014 midterm election, to 35.2 percent in 2018.
LMC is on-trend with a widespread national increase, with the average student voting rate up nearly 20 percentage points among participating schools, from 19.7 percent, to 39.1 percent.
The report was from the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement conducted by the Institute for Democracy and Higher Education. It was based on the voting records of more than 10 million students at more than 1,000 colleges and universities in all 50 states.
The report is used by participating colleges and universities to support political learning and civic engagement, and identify and address gaps in political and civic participation. The full report can be viewed on LMC’s website.
The increase at LMC is partially credited to its LMC Votes Campaign, a non-partisan initiative facilitated by LMC political science professor, Dr. Tiffany Bohm. Bohm began teaching a Campaigns and Elections course where students engaged the LMC student and employee community to register and vote in the November 2018 election.
The South Haven chapter of the American Association of University Women and the League of Women Voters of Berrien and Cass County provided assistance with the campaign. On September 24, representatives from the league will help visitors register to vote outside LMC’s Benton Harbor campus bookstore from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. in honor of National Voter Registration Day.
“This truly was a community-wide, multi-campus initiative to inform, educate and engage our population in the democratic process. It was a monumental achievement to double our voter rate at Lake Michigan College,” said Bohm.
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The Institute for Democracy & Higher Education (IDHE) is part of Tufts University’s Tisch College of Civic Life. It does not receive any information that could individually identify students or how they voted. The (IDHE) is an applied research center focused on college and university student political learning and engagement in democracy. IDHE researchers study student voting, equity, campus conditions for student political learning, discourse, participation, and agency for underrepresented and marginalized students. IDHE's signature initiative, the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement, or NSLVE, (https://idhe.tufts.edu/nslve) is a service to colleges and universities that provides participating institutions with tailored reports of their students' voting rates. Launched in 2013 with 250 campuses, the study now serves more than 1,000 institutions in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.