Binghamton University receives the 2020 Highest Voter Registration Rate Award in the America East Conference
Feb. 3, 2022
The ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge, alongside the America East Conference, has awarded Binghamton University the 2020 Highest Voter Registration Rate Award in the America East Votes Challenge. This is the first year that ALL IN is honoring the work of their Athletic Conference Voting Challenges, in which schools compete against their athletic rivals to increase nonpartisan student voter participation and engagement.
ALL IN has also awarded Binghamton University a Silver Seal, recognizing campuses with student voter turnout rates between 60–70%.
“We are honored to receive these awards recognizing the success of Binghamton University’s efforts to create a culture of civic engagement on our campus,” said Alison Twang, associate director at the Center for Civic Engagement. “Since 2012, a coalition of campus and community partners has worked together to integrate nonpartisan voter engagement activities in new student orientation, academic classes, residential communities, student organizations and more. We are especially proud of the dedication of our student leaders, including our student athletes. In 2020, student athletes offered voter registration assistance to every team with eligible students, volunteered to work at the campus polling place and contributed to the energy and excitement about voting across campus.”
Nadine Mastroleo, associate professor in the Department of Psychology and the faculty athletics representative, who convened student athletes to plan their voting outreach, shared "Being a part of this group was inspiring. Each student-athlete dedicated time to training and learning about the voter registration process and took that knowledge and passed it along to their peers. Their success in implementing the program designed alongside the Center for Civic Engagement and winning this award is a true testament to how amazing our student-athletes are in the classroom, in athletic competition, and possibly even more importantly, as members of the Binghamton University and broader community."
Neel Bhattacharjee, head coach for women’s soccer encouraged his athletes to participate in the democratic process. “As a program it was important to us that we were educated on the electoral process and were able to carry the initiative of having all teammates registered to vote. Our team takes much pride in our engagement and participation in this core right and civic duty.”
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% of college students voted in the 2020 elections, a 14 point increase from 2016. Data provided by IDHE shows Binghamton University’s voting rate increased by 16 percentage points, outpacing the national average increase, to 64% in 2020. Binghamton’s voter registration rate, at 87%, exceeds the national average and is the highest in the America East conference.