November 15, 2019
Johns Hopkins University received national recognition Tuesday for dramatically increasing student voting participation in the 2018 midterm elections compared to the previous midterm cycle four years earlier, a jump that was among the largest of any college or university in the country, according to the group that studies and releases related data.
The university launched a multifaceted voter registration and participation effort, Hopkins Votes, in 2018, in part in response to low turnout during the 2014 cycle. As a result of those efforts, more than 5,000 more Hopkins students voted in 2018 than in 2014, increasing voter turnout among students by more than 30 percentage points, from 14.4% to 44.8%.
On Tuesday, Hopkins received two awards in the All-In Campus Democracy Challenge awards ceremony in Washington, D.C., in recognition of this increase. JHU earned Gold Certification—reserved for schools with a student voting participation rate between 40% and 49%—as well as a Best in Class award for the most-improved voting rate at a large, private institution.
"Voting is essential to liberal democracy, and we take very seriously our obligation as a university to develop active and engaged citizens," Johns Hopkins University President Ronald J. Daniels said. "We're heartened to see so many Hopkins students participating in the democratic process and hopeful that our turnout efforts will keep the positive trend going."
According to the National Study of Learning, Voting and Engagement at Tufts University, voter turnout increased at schools nationwide from 2014 to 2018. But JHU's movement was particularly noteworthy—it went from a turnout rate 5.4% below the national institutional average in 2014 to a rate 5.7% above average in 2018. By the end of 2018, three-quarters of Johns Hopkins students who were eligible to vote were registered, according to NSLVE's data.