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UT News

Effort to Increase Student Voter Turnout Recognized With National Awards

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AUSTIN, Texas — Student leaders at The University of Texas at Austin organized, educated and inspired fellow classmates toward civic responsibility last fall in record numbers, and their dedication is being recognized on a national scale.

The ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge highlights excellence in student voter engagement during the 2018 midterm elections. Honorees were selected for exemplary leadership in supporting students form the habits of active and informed citizenship.

UT Austin’s 2018 voting rate was 54.8 percent – a 37.3 percent increase from 2014. Additionally, its 65.6 percent voting rate among registered students in 2018 climbed up substantially from 23.5 percent in 2014.

TX Votes, a student organization housed within the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life at the Moody College of Communication, seeks to increase campus civic engagement and awareness among the student body. Last year, TX Votes registered students in more than 250 classrooms, hosted multiple voter education events, and grew the UT Austin Civic Engagement Alliance to more than 100 organizations. Consequently, more than 13,820 students were registered to vote by members of the UT Austin Civic Engagement Alliance, with nearly 7,000 of those registered directly by TX Votes members.

Student leaders from TX Votes attended the ALL IN awards ceremony on Tuesday, Nov. 12 in Washington D.C.

UT Austin received the following distinctions:

Platinum Seal: Campuses with at least 50 percent voter participation during the 2018 Midterm Election

  • Best in Class: Most Improved Voting Rate among large public universities
  • Student Honor Roll: Maya Patel, former TX Votes president and chemistry major at UT Austin’s College of Natural Sciences
  • Outstanding Graduate Student Award: Kassie Phebillo, TX Votes program coordinator and Communication Studies doctoral student at UT Austin’s Moody College of Communication

“UT Austin’s voter engagement is on an upward trajectory thanks to student-led efforts to make voting easy and accessible,” Phebillo said. “Without the work of hundreds of Longhorns registering, educating, and encouraging their peers to vote, we would not be celebrating today. I’m especially proud of the work of TX Votes, the UT Austin Civic Engagement Alliance, and all of our Volunteer Deputy Registrars.”