UW joins in Big Ten voting challenge

UW joins in Big Ten voting challenge

The University of Wisconsin-Madison is joining 13 other Big Ten institutions in a new competition to promote civic engagement on Big Ten campuses.

The Big Ten Voting challenge is a nonpartisan initiative to encourage students to exercise their right to vote, according to a release from UW.

“Voting in elections gives our students a voice in the democratic process and in the decisions that affect local, state, and national issues,” Chancellor Rebecca Blank and other Big Ten leaders said in an email announcement to students Monday.

There are two winners to the challenge: the campus with the highest eligible voter turnout and the campus with the most-improved voter turnout. The champions after the 2018 election will win trophies, according to the release.

Voter turnout for people under the age of 30 is historically low when compared with older segments of the population. This is especially true in midterm elections. Only 21 percent of those under 30 voted in 2014, in comparison to 36 percent overall, according to the Research on Civic Learning and Engagement at Tufts University.