Creating the Extraordinary Student Experience

Vote! Your Student Life for the week of 11/3/19 (Undergrad)

  • Alyssa Johnson Alyssa Johnson

If there’s one thing we know about Buckeyes, they are always up for a challenge: on the field, in the classroom and in the voting booths!

The 2018 Midterm elections kicked off the first ever Big 10 Voter Challenge – a competition among all the Big 10 universities to increase campus voting rates. Well… the numbers are in!

The voter turnout rate for all six of Ohio State’s campuses was 43.4% of all eligible voters for the 2018 midterm elections, a 29.1% increase from the 2014 midterms. Ohio State students also turned out to polls at higher rates than other higher education institutions, with the 2018 voting rate for all institutions sitting at 39.1%. Ohio State’s voter registration rate also increased from 66.2% in 2014 to 79.5% of eligible voters in 2018.

Every age group saw an increase in voter turnout during the 2018 midterm cycle. Turnout for 18-21 year olds increased from 9.9% in 2014 to 27.7% in 2018. Turnout for 22-24 year olds increased from 11.3% in 2014 to 39.1% in 2018. Legal Professions and Studies had the highest turnout rate, with 62.2% of students in that field of study voting in 2018. English Language and Literature students had the most improved turnout, jumping from 15.3% in 2014 to 59.2% in 2018.

This incredible increase in voter turnout means that Ohio State will receive a Gold Seal from the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge. We also finished within the top five universities for highest improvement of voter turnout, as well as in the top half of Big 10 universities for turnout rate.

This increase would not have been possible without the voter engagement efforts of OSU Votes, a student-led non-partisan group on campus whose mission is to register, educate and encourage students to vote. OSU Votes works in close partnership with a coalition of partners across the campuses and are excited to continue to increase voter turnout for all upcoming elections.

What’s up next for Ohio State’s voter engagement efforts? The Big Ten Voter Challenge was renewed for another year, we will be facing off with our athletic conference in a friendly competition for the 2020 Presidential election. 

As a reminder, every Ohio State student who is a United States citizen has the right to register to vote in Franklin County using their campus address. Get started by casting your vote in the next election on November 5, and look for events around the primary brought to you by OSU Votes!


Alyssa (A.J.) Johnson

Coordinator, Service and Outreach
Student Activities
Office of Student Life














Dave Isaacs