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U Of M Recognized For Highest-In-Nation 2018 Midterm Turnout

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- University of Minnesota students came out to vote in the highest numbers of any large public university. 

The U was recognized Tuesday for having the highest voter turnout of other large public universities in the 2018 midterm elections as part of the ALL IN Democracy Challenge, which promotes civic engagement on college campuses. 

More than 560 total schools participated in the challenge. 

According to data from the Institute for Democracy in Higher Education, almost 59% of U students on the Twin Cities campus voted in the midterms. Across all of the school's system campuses, more than 56% of students voted. 

The nationwide average was around 39%. 

"Tens of thousands of University of Minnesota students have chosen to engage the political process, register to vote and participate in democracy," University of Minnesota President Joan Gabel said in a statement. "These results are exemplary, but there is room to continue to educate and advance action. I'm looking forward to seeing the U of M community build on our nation-leading status in 2020 and beyond."

Compared to 2014, turnout throughout the U system increased more than 138%. 

Students and officials attribute these numbers to a variety of efforts on campus, including an emphasis on early voting and registration on campus. 

In 2019, the U also integrated online voter registration with its class registration system, a tool officials hope will boost turnout in 2020. 

"One of our top priorities is to empower students to be engaged at every level of government and to make our voices heard. The most direct way to do that is to get students to vote," said U student Jude Goossens in a statement. Goossens is the director of government and legislative affairs at the Minnesota Student Association, the undergraduate student government body on the Twin Cities campus. 

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