On-campus voting at Hendrix College increased by more than 20% between 2014 and 2018, according to a report by The National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE). NSLVE is a project of the Institute for Democracy & Higher Education at the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life at Tufts University.
The College’s overall voting rate is higher than the national average. Hendrix also saw strong increases in voter registration and the voting rate of registered students from 2014-2019.
“Student-led voter registration outreach has been consistently strong, and student ownership of that process is a point of pride at Hendrix,” said. Hendrix politics professor Dr. Jay Barth ’87. “This certainly underscores the importance of having an on-campus voting site. Campus voting sites are crucially important to making voter participation easier for students.”
Support for campus voting sites is a clear indication of an institution’s commitment to civic engagement, Barth added.
Hendrix has been a precinct since 2004 and, since 2016, has been a voting center for students, faculty, staff, and Faulkner County residents.
According to the NSLVE’s national report Democracy Counts 2018: Increased Student and Institutional Engagement, college students across the United States more than doubled their rate of voting between the 2014 and 2018 midterm elections, and 40% of students who are eligible to vote cast ballots last year, up from 19% in 2014. The significant increases from 2014 to 2018 cut across many categories, from age to student demographics to fields of study.
In addition to hosting a voting center, Hendrix is a member institution of Project Pericles, the national civic engagement initiative, and participates in a political polling project with Talk Business & Politics. Hendrix also hosts the Arkansas Policy Program, an undergraduate think tank where students conduct research and provide nonpartisan, original analyses of key public policy issues in the state.
Watch Barth and fellow Hendrix alumnus Peter Butler ’17, then Hendrix Student Senate president, discuss their work to expand access to student voting sites on campus in this video.