October 16, 2019

SUNY Empire State College Student Voting Jumps 20 Percent in 2018, Exceeds National Average

Student Voting Jumps 20 Percent in 2018, Exceeds National Average

(SARATOGA SPRINGS, New York – Oct. 16, 2019) SUNY Empire State College student participation in the 2018 elections increased by nearly 20 percent over 2014, according to the Institute for Democracy & Higher Education (IDHE).

The IDHE’s National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement reports 46 percent of SUNY Empire students voted in 2018, compared to 28 percent in 2014. SUNY Empire student participation exceeded the national average institutional voting rate of 39.1 percent for the 2018 elections, as well as the national average of 19.7 percent in 2014.

“Voting is one of the foundational forms of participation in a democracy, a right that is too often taken for granted,” said SUNY Empire State College President Jim Malatras. “We are deeply proud of our SUNY Empire students for engaging so actively in the democratic process.”

“The Office of Student Life has made a commitment to support Get Out the Vote events across many of the college locations,” said Dean of Student Affairs, Lisa D’Adamo-Weinstein. “We are proud to see the increased student turnout at the polls and look forward to continuing to host active, informative events in the coming academic year.”

As part of its Commitment to Community initiative, SUNY Empire is launching a series of events and programs to encourage civic participation across New York state. They include:

  • Hosting a statewide and virtual panel discussion, “What Should Go on the Internet? Privacy, Freedom & Security online,” in observance of Constitution and Citizenship Day.
  • Opening available computer labs at SUNY Empire locations throughout New York state to help residents complete the 2020 census, the first census to be conducted primarily online.
  • Offering SUNY Empire locations as early voting sites for the 2020 election.
  • Hosting public events such as forums and art exhibits to promote discussion of critical issues.

Learn more about student voter registration at SUNY Empire.

About the Institute for Democracy and Higher Education

The IDHE, housed at Tufts University’s Tisch College of Civic Life, produces its National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE), which is the only national study of college-student voting.

SUNY Empire participates in the NSLVE in order to learn more about specific student experiences and voting.

The NSLVE database includes:

  • More than 1,000 campuses and 10 million student records.
  • All 50 states.
  • All institutional types.

About SUNY Empire

SUNY Empire State College educates more than 17,000 students in person, online, and through a blend of both, at more than 30 locations in New York and at eight international sites worldwide. Together with one of SUNY Empire’s more than 1,300 faculty mentors, each student designs their own individualized pathway to a college degree that accommodates their schedule and awards credit for prior college-level learning. SUNY Empire awards more than 3,000 degrees annually and 94 percent of graduates stay in New York state. Today, more than 87,000 SUNY Empire alumni are entrepreneurs, veterans, and active members of the military, professional athletes, teachers, medical professionals, and leaders in their field, as well as in their communities. To learn more, visit www.esc.edu and follow the college on social media @SUNYEmpire.