Washington Monthly Names New College of Florida to the ‘2022 Best Colleges for Student Voting Honor Roll’

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- by Abby Weingarten

“I’m happy that New College is on the voting honor roll. This is further proof that New College is doing an amazing job of registering students to vote and encouraging them to get out and vote,” said Jada McNeill, the assistant director of civic engagement at New College.

New College was one of 230 schools that earned recognition from Washington Monthly for having a high level of civic engagement. But this is certainly not the first time New College has appeared on national lists for voter turnout.

Last November, New College received the “Highest Voter Registration” and “Highest Voter Turnout” awards for 2021, as well as a platinum seal, from the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge. ALL IN is an organization that aims to create a more inclusive democracy by strengthening college efforts to improve civic learning, political engagement and voter participation.

In 2018, nearly two-thirds of New College students voted, and the College earned a platinum seal from ALL IN for achieving a student voting rate above 50 percent (as well as three “Best in Class Awards” for the highest voting rate among all participating small, public, four-year institutions).

To encourage student voter turnout at New College, McNeill and the Student Activities and Campus Engagement (SA[u]CE) office staff created a Voting Information Center, and they launched the NCF VOTE voter engagement initiative in 2020. New College staff urged students use TurboVote for help with voter registration, vote-by-mail options and election updates.

This made a significant difference in the nationwide upswing among young voters. According to Washington Monthly, “more than half of 18- to 24-year-olds cast ballots in 2020—a threshold that had not been reached since 18-year-olds were first allowed to vote in 1971.”

To make this year’s Washington Monthly honor roll, universities had to submit 2020 and 2022 action plans to the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge. Schools also needed to have signed up to receive data from the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE), which calculates college-specific registration and voting rates. And they must have made their 2018 and 2020 NSLVE data available to the public.

“I would like for us to continue to stay on the list and increase our voting rates for the upcoming midterm elections,” McNeill said.

For more information on civic engagement at New College of Florida, visit ncf.edu/life-at-new/what-to-do/civic-engagement.