Knox College, recently named by Washington Monthly as one of the "Best Colleges for Student Voting," has been preparing for the November 6 elections by focusing on voter registration and informing members of the campus community about voting.
On Tuesday, November 6, Knox will have a Parade to the Polls so students and others can walk together to First Baptist Church, which is the polling place for students living on campus. Parades will take place at 12:15 p.m. and 4 p.m. Afterward, participants will return to Alumni Hall for snacks and a celebration.
Throughout the fall term, Knox’s Office of Government and Community Relations periodically has emailed newsletters to the campus community, providing nonpartisan voting-related information. The information has included details on how and where to register to vote, announcements regarding the beginning of early voting and “grace period” voting, and access to sample ballots so people can review the names of candidates seeking office.
In addition, Knox participated in National Voter Registration Day on September 25 by arranging for nonpartisan “election ambassadors” to help register voters at three locations on campus: Post Residence Hall, the Ford Center for the Fine Arts, and Seymour Gallery.
This year, for the first time, the Office of Government and Community Relations has added a post-baccalaureate fellow for civic engagement, Amy Lentz '18, to assist with efforts to register voters and inform the campus community about voting.
Washington Monthly announced its 2018 list of "Best Colleges For Student Voting" on November 1. The list of two- and four-year colleges is a measurement of "how well colleges are encouraging their students to vote," according to the magazine. "These institutions, representing a broad range of American higher education, show that civic engagement is alive and well on college campuses."
Washington Monthly used four specific criteria for inclusion on the "Best Colleges for Student Voting" list. A college must:
- Participate in the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE) at Tufts University, which allows colleges to calculate their voter registration and turnout rates.
- Make their NSLVE data (including voter turnout rates) publicly available.
- Sign up for ALL IN, which provides guidance for colleges to develop action plans around civic engagement.
- Make their ALL IN action plan publicly available.
As participants in the NSLVE since 2012, Knox encourages students to understand and exercise their right to vote. Nationwide, just 39% of citizens between the ages of 18 and 24 voted in the 2016 presidential election. At Knox, 51.9% of students voted in that same election. That's an increase from the 2012 presidential election, where 47.8% of students voted.
Further information about voting is available on the Knox College website.