Husker Vote Coalition wins Campus Democracy Challenge

· 3 min read

Husker Vote Coalition wins Campus Democracy Challenge

Maggie Nielsen with Husker Vote helps register students on National Voter Registration Day.
Craig Chandler | University Communication and Marketing
Maggie Nielsen with the Husker Vote Coalition provides voter registration information to a student.

The Husker Vote Coalition was named the Standout Nonpartisan Campus Student Voting Group award winner out of 178 nominated campuses during the 2023 ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge All In Awards Celebration.

Husker Vote Coalition is a student-led effort, housed in the Student Leadership, Involvement and Community Engagement Office at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.

The ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge hosted its fourth biennial awards ceremony to recognize colleges and universities, as well as students, faculty and staff, presidents and chancellors, coaches, partner organizations and election officials for their extraordinary work in nonpartisan student voter engagement during the 2022 midterm elections.

The 2022 elections saw the second highest youth voter turnout for a midterm election in 30 years. Colleges and universities play an integral role in helping students register to vote and make their voices heard at the ballot box. More than 960 institutions enrolling 9.7 million students participate in the ALL IN Challenge, which supports colleges and universities in achieving excellence in nonpartisan student voter engagement.

“It’s important for our students to be civically engaged, and that begins with voting,” said Andrew Brown, assistant director of community engagement and adviser of Husker Vote Coalition. “I’m proud that UNL and our Husker Vote Coalition has received this honor, and I am thankful for the students, staff and faculty that have made such a difference in getting our students prepared to participate in the electoral process.”

The executive committee for the Husker Vote Coalition is (back row, from left) adviser Andrew Brown, Mel Schwensen, Luke McDermott, Milli Ciprian and Ivan Molina Jr. Seated in front is Maggie Nielsen.

Students were critical to the 2022 general election engagement success. The Husker Vote Coalition's recruited more than 40 students to serve as vote ambassadors, who registered students to vote, coordinated educational events and compiled individual projects to support sustained student voter engagement in partnership with the Lancaster County Election Commission. In addition, student vote ambassadors also served on Election Day in 2022 by monitoring polling sites located on or near campus, and gathering information regarding the voting process and accessibility of polling places in partnership with Civic Nebraska.

“Despite nationwide attempts to undermine democracy through restrictive voting laws, college students made their voices heard during the 2022 midterm elections,” said Jen Domagal-Goldman, executive director of the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge. “Each and every one of us has a role to play in promoting nonpartisan student democratic engagement. The individuals we are celebrating today are leading the way on their campuses and in their communities to ensure that every student has the tools and information they need to participate in our democracy and cast their ballot.”

The full list of individual champion award winners can be viewed here. Following the release of data from the National Study of Learning, Voting and Engagement later this year, ALL IN will also recognize individual campuses that achieved outstanding student voter registration and turnout rates.

The ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge empowers colleges and universities to achieve excellence in nonpartisan student democratic engagement. Through an intentionally designed program that provides structure, support, and recognition, ALL IN works to improve civic learning, political engagement, and voter participation on more than 970 campuses nationwide. ALL IN believes higher education should play a role in developing an active and informed citizenry by educating students, motivating them to engage in American democracy, and instilling the value of lifelong participation. ALL IN is an initiative of Civic Nation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Learn more here.

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