Saint Mary’s Honored for Voter Turnout Effort

While the 2020 election saw record engagement in many parts of the country, Saint Mary’s students also did their part to participate in shaping our nation’s future. 

On Monday, Saint Mary’s earned distinction for that effort as one of 47 schools to receive the Platinum Seal Campus designation from the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge. To earn the Platinum Seal, a participating school needed to achieve a campus voter participation rate of 80 to 89 percent. Nearly 1,200 schools nationwide participated in the challenge.

80 percent of Saint Mary’s students voted in the election, a 21-point jump from the 59 percent participation by students in the last presidential election held in 2016. Saint Mary’s also saw a seven-point jump in voter registration, going from 82 percent in 2016 to 89 percent in 2020. 90 percent of registered students voted, up 18 points from 72 percent in 2016.

“Our students were already among the nation's leaders in the 2016 election. Their 21 percentage point increase in 2020 is a truly remarkable achievement, said Politics professor Stephen Woolpert, who coordinated the campus’ voting effort. “I am so proud of our students' outstanding commitment to democratic engagement. I'm especially grateful to the ‘Gaels Vote 2020’ student interns, who worked diligently to help their classmates register and cast their ballots.”

Saint Mary’s is the lone Bay Area institution to receive a Platinum Seal for 2020 turnout. The award is also the College’s second in a row after earning the Platinum Seal for 50 percent voter participation or higher in the 2018 midterm election.