In a statewide meeting with college and university presidents on September 1st, Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold announced a collegiate voting initiative called the “ALL IN Challenge” in which Colorado colleges and universities compete for the best voter registration and turnout rates in the upcoming November 3 election. The ALL IN Challenge is a nonpartisan initiative held in partnership with the nonpartisan nonprofit organization, the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge.
“As the youngest Secretary of State in the country, it’s important to me that young voters have their voices heard in our elections,” said Secretary Griswold. “We cannot allow the COVID-19 health crisis to inhibit students from registering to vote or receiving their ballots. The ALL IN Challenge creates a fun competition for our colleges and universities, and highlights the importance of college students to register and vote.”
“The ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge is a great way to encourage students – the next generation of civic leaders – to participate in our democracy and have their voices heard.”
Dr. Janine Davidson, President/ Metro State University Denver
All two-year and four-year higher education institutions in Colorado are invited to participate in the challenge. Participating colleges and universities will be eligible for awards based on voter turnout and registration rates on their campuses for the November 3 election. The Colorado Secretary of State will announce awards for highest campus voter turnout, most improved campus voter turnout, and highest student voter registration rate.
College and university administrators, faculty and staff can learn more and sign up here. There is no sign-up cost to participate. Institutions that opt into the challenge will be provided guidance and tools to create an action plan for increasing student engagement on their campus. By signing up for the challenge, all accredited, degree-granting higher education institutions across the state can improve, measure, and celebrate efforts to institutionalize nonpartisan civic learning, political engagement and informed voter participation.
“The ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge is a great way to encourage students – the next generation of civic leaders – to participate in our democracy and have their voices heard,” said Dr. Janine Davidson, President of Metro State University Denver. “Having been recognized in 2016 for the highest undergraduate voting rate in the country, MSU Denver invites our fellow universities to join us in going all in on voting this fall.”
The Colorado Secretary of State’s Office is partnering with the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge, a national, nonpartisan nonprofit, to create a learning community for Colorado campuses and to facilitate the competition. Institutions that sign up for the Colorado Collegiate Voting Challenge will also be automatic participants in the nationwide ALL IN Challenge.
“The pandemic has displaced college students in Colorado and across the country, creating new barriers for them to register and vote this fall,” said United States Senator Michael Bennet. “In these difficult times, all of us have a responsibility to help students exercise their right to vote and shape the future of our democracy. More than that, we have a chance for Colorado to set an example for the country by coming together to produce the highest student turnout anywhere in America. It’s well past time young voters had a voice consistent with their stakes in our elections.”
Secretary Griswold also discussed with the state’s higher education leadership strategies to ensure students register and receive their ballot, whether they are on campus or have moved. While young people in Colorado vote at higher levels compared to the rest of the country, they still lag their older peers in the state.
Griswold is the nation’s youngest Secretary of State, and has championed the power of young people in our democracy. In 2019, she led and worked with the legislature to pass, the Colorado Votes Act, which improved access to voting for college students by guaranteeing Voter Service and Polling Centers or drop boxes on public higher education institutions. It also enabled 17-year olds to vote in primary elections as long they turned 18 by the general election. The ALL IN Challenge follows this work of encouraging young people to have their voices heard.
For more information on the ALL IN Challenge, please visit www.allinchallenge.org.
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