KEYC - GAC Wins Inaugural Minnesota College Ballot Bowl

GAC Wins Inaugural Minnesota College Ballot Bowl

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Gustavus Adolphus College was recently named a winner of the inaugural Minnesota College Ballot Bowl, a voter registration competition led by Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon in which campuses across the state competed to register the most students to vote in the weeks leading up to Election Day. Sixty-three percent of Gustavus students registered to vote during the Ballot Bowl, a mark that was 24 percent higher than the second-place college.

The contest, which consisted of 68 colleges and universities from across the state, ran from the first day of classes through October 18. Gustavus ranked first among all Minnesota colleges and universities in student participation with 63 percent and was also first among private colleges and universities in total students registered with 1,318.

"Gustavus students understand the role they play as citizens in the democratic process and they care about their community," Gustavus Vice President for Student Life JoNes VanHecke said. "Students from our Voter Education Committee worked collaboratively not only to 'get out the vote' but to provide their peers with great educational programming throughout the election season."

Several efforts led to the high turnout at Gustavus, including a successful voter education and registration table in the Jackson Campus Center, televised debate viewing parties, and an on-campus debate between student political organizations.

"Thanks to the hard work done by student leaders across the state more Minnesotans than ever were registered to vote before Election Day, and Minnesota's voter turnout of 74.72 percent is likely to be number one in the nation," Secretary of State Steve Simon said in a release. "It's important we continue to get good habits started early with young Minnesotans and I look forward to working with campus leaders to find new and innovative ways to increase civic engagement."

Secretary Simon will present student leaders with a Ballot Bowl award in early 2017.

-KEYC News 12