Dalton State Recognized for Voter Participation


Dalton State is doing its part to engage students in the election process. The College was recently recognized in the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge national awards program with a bronze seal for increasing student voter participation.

Voting participation increased 8.1 percent from the 2012 election to the 2016 election, according to the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement. Dalton State reported a 51.8 percent participation in the 2016 election, up from 43.8 percent in the 2012 election.

“I am in the process of creating a campus action plan which we hope will increase voter registration and participation even more,” said Heather Williams, assistant director for leadership and civic engagement at Dalton State. “Voter participation and engagement is a learned activity. New voters need our help finding their precinct, learning their voting options, and understanding what’s on the ballot.

“Student Life is striving to be more proactive and intentional in the way we connect, inform, teach, and engage students about voter participation,” Williams said. “One example from the fall was our ‘Meet the Candidates’ event where students, faculty, and community members were able to learn more about each candidate and connect with each of them individually before heading to the polls. We are also developing a plan that will be implemented over the next couple of years to expand our civic and democratic engagement efforts.”

The democracy challenge is a national awards program encouraging higher education institutions to help students form habits of active and informed citizenship and make democratic participation a core value on their campuses. More than 300 campuses participate in the challenge since it launched in 2016. It is sponsored by the Foundation for Civic Leadership, the Knight Foundation, and the Lisa and Douglas Goldman Fund.