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MTSU again tops secretary of state voter registrat...

MTSU again tops secretary of state voter registration competition

Kayla Jenkins, Middle Tennessee State University graduate student, shows an MTSU student the closest polling location to campus on Sept. 20, 2022, on the campus quad to help him develop a personal voting plan. It was part of the university’s overall push to get as many True Blue students registered to vote as possible, which helped MTSU earn its second win as the top four-year, public university in Secretary of State Tre Hargett’s College Voter Registration Competition. (MTSU photo by Stephanie Wagner)

The tireless work of MTSU professor Mary A. Evins and her team of student and community volunteers has once again registered a success: the university earned its second win as the top four-year public university in Secretary of State Tre Hargett’s College Voter Registration Competition

“Consistency, commitment, perseverance, drive and unwavering dedication got us this win,” said Evins, professor of history and coordinator of the university’s chapter of the American Democracy Project, or ADP. 

Dr. Mary A. Evins, professor of history, coordinator of the American Democracy Project, member of the University Honors College faculty
Dr. Mary A. Evins

The competition, which ran the full month of September, required competitors not only to register the largest number of students to vote but to launch and manage a creative and unique social media campaign with good engagement, which the secretary’s office tracked. 

“ADP students, with help from the Student Government Association on Tuesdays, were register-to-vote tabling out on campus not just through the month of September but every day for seven solid weeks, from the first day of class through the last day of Tennessee voter registration before fall break,” Evins said.

“We also worked hard to post MTSU student photos to social media with both the MTSU and secretary office’s voting hashtags.”

MTSU volunteers registered 343 students to vote during the month of the competition.

Hargett extended his congratulations to the True Blue campus for its robust efforts. 

Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett
Tre Hargett

“Congratulations to all the dedicated Middle Tennessee State University leaders who registered their fellow students and once again earned the top spot in the competition,” Hargett said. “Now more Blue Raiders are ready to cast a ballot and participate in our electoral process.”

Evins emphasized that for MTSU, the mission of registering students to vote extends beyond a single month or event.

“MTSU’s objective is serious, larger and more purposeful,” she said. “Our true achievement objective is to improve upon our own voting record: to better ourselves, to be sure that every single MTSU student is registered to vote and registered where she/he/they can get to the polls and vote. We want to elevate our university’s student voting numbers.”

Middle Tennessee State University earned its second win as the top four-year, public university in Secretary of State Tre Hargett’s College Voter Registration Competition. (Graphic courtesy of Secretary of State’s office)
Middle Tennessee State University is a winner for the second time as the top four-year public university in the Tennessee Secretary of State’s College Voter Registration Competition. (Graphic courtesy of Secretary of State’s office)

Evins added that voting is democracy, and that student voting is the lesson of democracy in action. 

“Supporting engaged citizen-scholars is one of MTSU’s primary goals,” she said. “To do everything we can to proactively encourage our students to become the engaged citizens they must be in our participatory democracy is of course what we do.

“So voter registration is important to MTSU, but it’s just a first step. Informed voting is the objective.”

When registering students to vote, volunteers helped equip students with a personal voting plan to vote where they live and sleep during the work week, which research shows gets people out to vote in the greatest numbers. 

Evins encouraged the campus community, those with personal voting plans or not, to get out to vote now. 

“Go vote, MTSU, now through this Thursday, Nov. 3 (for early voting), and then — last chance — on Election Day Tuesday, Nov. 8,” she said.

MTSU American Democracy Project logo

Students who need transportation to a polling station can take the MTSU Raider Xpress Green Line on Election Day, Nov. 8, which will take students back and forth from the front of the James Union Building and the polling place at Central Magnet School on East Main Street all day.

MTSU also is hosting a “Party at the Polls” event from 3 to 7 p.m. on the lawn of Central Magnet on Nov. 8, Evins added.

“Come vote and come celebrate with us on Election Day! Polls close at 7 p.m.”

— Stephanie Wagner (Stephanie.Wagner@mtsu.edu

Kayla Jenkins, Middle Tennessee State University graduate student, shows an MTSU student the closest polling location to campus on Sept. 20, 2022, on the campus quad to help him develop a personal voting plan. It was part of the university’s overall push to get as many True Blue students registered to vote as possible, which helped MTSU earn its second win as the top four-year, public university in Secretary of State Tre Hargett’s College Voter Registration Competition. (MTSU photo by Stephanie Wagner)
Kayla Jenkins, Middle Tennessee State University graduate student, shows an MTSU student the closest polling location to campus in September on the campus quad to help him develop a personal voting plan. It was part of the university’s overall push to get as many True Blue students registered to vote as possible, which helped MTSU earn its second win as the top four-year public university in Secretary of State Tre Hargett’s College Voter Registration Competition. (MTSU photo by Stephanie Wagner)

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