Last updateFri, 19 Jun 2020 7pm


University wins Voter Registration Award

University Voter Registration AwardStudents and faculty were hosted by Rutgers University-New Brunswick for a trophy presentation ceremony after winning the statewide 2018 Ballot Bowl voter registration competition, on Tuesday, Oct. 30. 

The New Jersey Secretary of State’s office informed Joseph Patten, Ph.D., an associate professor of political science and adviser to the Political Science Club, that the University won the statewide 2018 Ballot Bowl voter registration competition last Thursday, Oct. 25 for their registration effort called “Rock the Vote.” He and the Rock the Vote group were invited to attend the ceremony, which was aired by MSGNetworks.

Ten students, and the Rock the Vote campaign’s mascot, accompanied the group to be presented with the award and to give a few public words, to address their accomplishment on the New Brunswick campus on Tuesday evening. 

“The voter registration volunteers were all single minded in focusing on whether students would vote, not how students would vote,” said Patten, commending their successful efforts. “Political science student Landon Myers took the lead in organizing the Rock the Vote events on campus and in organizing nearly 30 students who visited approximately 50 classrooms to encourage students to vote.”

Patten noted that the voter registration group physically mailed in 350 voter registration forms, as well as an equal number of students who mailed the registration forms themselves, surpassing their initial goal to register 400 students. 

Myers, who serves as the President of the Political Science Club, explained that that the Rock the Vote events throughout the months of September and October, and the multiple “barnstorming” visits to classrooms, were the most beneficial in registering students. Funding from faculty, administration, and all seven of the University’s Schools also helped in providing essential materials for the events, such as food, accoutrement, and support. “It really was a campus wide effort as every Department helped donate money to the Rock the Vote events,” he said.

“One of the most exciting things about the voter registration drive on campus this year is it included students, faculty, and administrators from all political stripes,” said Patten, noting that the group’s efforts were nonpartisan. “It was inspiring to see conservatives and liberals and people somewhere in between working together for the common purpose of raising political awareness on campus.”

Secretary of New Jersey’s State Department, Hon. Tahesha Way, initiated the independent 2018 Ballot Bowl for students at campuses across the state to compete against one another to register the most students to vote. 

“I was so excited when I heard that we won the Ballot Bowl,” said Myers. “With all the hard work so many people put in, it could not have been better deserved and would not have been possible without everyone that helped.”

Winners were announced in three separate conferences, which were determined by student. Rutgers University-Newark and Montclair State won the two other conferences, and were also present at the ceremony on Tuesday.

PHOTO COURTESY of Joesph Patten, Ph.D.

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