Winthrop University: Washington Monthly Again Recognizes Winthrop on Its Best Colleges for Student Voting Honor Roll
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Washington Monthly Again Recognizes Winthrop on Its Best Colleges for Student Voting Honor Roll

September 16, 2021

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Winthrop, with its increased emphasis on civic engagement, was praised for a fourth year in a row by Washington Monthly for its success in getting students to vote and was included on its 2021 Best Colleges for Student Voting Honor Roll
  • Winthrop was joined on the Washington Monthly list by 204 institutions, 47 more than in 2020. The majority of honorees are public institutions, such as Winthrop, and many are community colleges.

ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA – For the first time since the United States allowed 18-year-olds to vote, more than half of all 18- to 24-year olds cast ballots in the 2020 presidential election, according to Washington Monthly

Winthrop University students were among millions of young people who turned out in record numbers to participate. Winthrop, with its increased emphasis on civic engagement, was praised for a fourth year in a row by Washington Monthly for its success in getting students to vote and was included on its 2021 Best Colleges for Student Voting Honor Roll

Nationwide, 51.4 percent of young people voted, compared to 39.4 percent in 2016. Winthrop’s numbers are not available yet, but South Carolina youth aged 18-24 made up 15 percent of all ballots in 2020, compared to casting 13 percent of all South Carolina ballots in 2016, according to Katarina Moyon, director of Winthrop’s John C. West Forum on Politics and Policy.

Winthrop was joined on the Washington Monthly list by 204 institutions, 47 more than in 2020. The majority of honorees are public institutions, such as Winthrop, and many are community colleges.

Interim President George Hynd and his wife, Alison, joined the effort to encourage Winthrop students to get out and vote last November. 

“Winthrop not only embeds civic lessons throughout its curriculum and gives students plenty of opportunities to hear about policy issues, but it also helps register students and encourages them to vote either in York County or in their hometowns. We are proud to be recognized once again for our civic engagement efforts that prepare our students to be engaged citizens for life,” Hynd said.

York County consistently attracts presidential primary candidates. At least 11 national office candidates campaigned in the county in 2019 and 2020. Once the primaries were over, students had weekly opportunities to learn about the political process through online speakers and programming.

With COVID-19 restricting how events could be held, Moyon said a faculty and staff steering committee and others developed a new set of online tools and approaches for reaching students, including tapping Student Voting Ambassadors who focused heavily on social media to encourage student registration and voting, among other initiatives.  

A second group also recently recognized the university’s voting efforts. Winthrop was tapped in March as one of more than 200 U.S. campuses designated as a Voter Friendly Campus by the national nonpartisan organizations Fair Elections Center’s Campus Vote Project (CVP) and NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education.  

For more information, contact Judy Longshaw, news and media services manager, at 803/323-2404 or at longshawj@winthrop.edu.

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Last Updated: 10/4/21