Carson-Newman wins statewide College Voter Registration Contest
Students in Carson-Newman University’s Political Science Senior Seminar course, taught by Dr. Kara Stooksbury, led a voter registration drive in September that won a statewide contest. Pictured from left in the first row are Derick Marlow, Mitra Sarshuri, Savannah McMillan, Luke Patton and Ian Trent. From left in the back row are Thomas Fodor, Stooksbury and Tim Quintanilla.
(Nov. 1, 2019) JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. — Carson-Newman University’s “Eagle Vote Project” won the 2019 Tennessee College Voter Registration Competition in the category of private colleges and universities.
According to an announcement by Secretary of State Tre Hargett, more than 2,000 students registered to vote at the 48 participating schools.
The competition took place during September in honor of National Voter Registration Month. Every college and university in the state had the chance to compete by registering the most students to vote and to spread awareness of the campaign on social media using the hashtag #GoVoteTN, along with their school-specific hashtag. For Carson-Newman, that was #EagleVote.
“Carson-Newman University students set the bar high for social media interactions throughout the competition,” Hargett said. “Thank you to the entire Carson-Newman Eagles community for their commitment.”
The Eagle Vote Project is an effort of Dr. Kara Stooksbury’s senior seminar class. This year, the Bonner Center and Student Government Association also participated. In addition to social media, students set up tables in the cafeteria and student activities center as well as placing QR codes linking to online voter registration around campus.
“I’m so proud that my students are being recognized for their contributions to civic engagement,” said Stooksbury, chair of the Department of History, Political Science and Sociology. “Voting is one of our most important rights as citizens, and too often college students are left out of the electoral process, because they don't register to vote.”
The winning schools were selected based on the number of new students registered and their social media presence (both weighted by student enrollment) as well as their campus creativity in promoting the college voter registration drive, according to the state’s announcement.