About SoCon Votes

SoCon Votes is the first Division 1 Athletic Conference Championship for democratic engagement. This program aims to support the 80,000 students in the Southern Conference to become active and engaged citizens. Each of the 10 schools in the Southern Conference is vying for the conference championship for Highest Voter Turnout or Most Improved Voter Turnout.

Youth voting has been on a decline for many years. Only 45% of young people between the ages of 18 and 29 voted in 2012, down from 51% in 2008.1

Young adult voters between the ages of 18 and 24 have consistently voted at lower rates than all other age groups in every presidential election since 1962.2 This election year, there are roughly 31 million traditional-aged college students in the United States. According to voting statistics, 83% of college students keep silent on the very subjects that shape their present and future.3

SoCon Votes aspires to expand this excitement and competition nationwide. Our desire is for every collegiate conference to engage in friendly competition as they increase voter knowledge and incite students’ passion for shaping their future.

1 Source 2 Source 3Source

Young people voting between the ages of 18 and 29 is on a decline.¹

2008
2012
2016

How The Competition Works

Every school in the Southern Conference is competing to take home the Conference Championship for Highest Voter Turnout or Most Improved Voter Turnout. The team captains at each school are responsible for completing the rounds . Most importantly, they’re taking lead on orchestrating and implementing their playbook – a guide for increasing university wide voter engagement.

The SoCon Votes competition is divided into four rounds:

Round
1

requires each school to sign up for the National Study of Learning Voting and Engagement, which will allow the schools to learn about their student registration and voting rates.

Round
2

requires each team to create a playbook detailing what steps they will take to increase democratic engagement.

Round
3

is the actual implementation of the playbook.

Round
4

is the championship round, which will rank schools based on their voter turnout and their percentage increase in voter turnout in the 2016 presidential election.

Teams

The Citadel
Dubose Kapeluck
East Tennessee State University
Carla Warner
Furman University
David Fleming
Mercer University
Hannah Vann
Western Carolina University
Lane Perry
Wofford College
Allen Lollis
University of Tennessee - Chattanooga
Emelia Clark
Virgina Military Institute
Matthew Saunders
University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Kristina Snader
Samford University
Anika Strand

Blog

Mobilize Mercer

By: Emily Thompson; Junior, Mercer University   In 2004 at eight-years-old, I remember watching the Bush-Cheney/Kerry-Edwards election on the small...
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ETSU Votes

‘ETSU Votes’ to host panel discussion on ‘2016: An Election Unlike Any Other?’ “2016: An Election Unlike Any Other?” is...
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Mobilize Mercer

By: Emily Thompson; Junior, Mercer University

 

In 2004 at eight-years-old, I remember watching the Bush-Cheney/Kerry-Edwards election on the small television in my mom’s room in our Texas home.  Although I lacked a complete understanding of the Electoral College, I was excitedly coloring in the red states and the blue states on my printout map.  I begged my mom to let me stay up later and later as the night went on.  That passion has continued through many election cycles.  I have been fortunate enough to volunteer and work for several campaigns over the past several years.

This year, though, I am so excited to be able to cast my ballot for my first presidential election.  Because I have grown up with such a love for our country and the political sphere, I hope to inspire other students to become involved as well.  The awesome thing about politics is that there is something there for everyone.  No matter what your interests are, politics affect it in one way or another.  I want students to realize this and let their voices be heard.

Mobilize Mercer was born when 6 students and faculty members at Mercer had some ideas that were fueled by passion.  We were sitting together in the Campus Life Conference room and thought of all that we could do to push political engagement and awareness in this upcoming election.

It started small.  We had a gummy bear poll during primary season, where students put a gummy bear in their candidate’s jar to signify their support.  Bernie Sanders and Marco Rubio were the victors by a long shot.  When neither of them received their party’s nomination, students were disappointed.  However, this motivated us to push students to vote even more.

This semester, we have been able to host debate watch parties, voter registration drives, and so much more!  We have been able to be featured on local news stations, which has been able to push our cause even further.  We are hoping for a victory this November when SoCon Votes ends.  However, regardless of the outcome, we have been able to accomplish our overarching goal.  We have been able to invite students to vote in their first presidential election.  Mercer students are now more aware and engaged in the political process.  It’s been an incredible thing to see.

ETSU Votes

‘ETSU Votes’ to host panel discussion on ‘2016: An Election Unlike Any Other?’

“2016: An Election Unlike Any Other?” is the focus of a faculty panel discussion to be held at East Tennessee State University on Tuesday, Oct. 18, at 7 p.m. in the D.P. Culp University Center’s Martha Street Culp Auditorium.

This free public event is sponsored by the “ETSU Votes” planning team and the Student Government Association.

“ETSU Votes,” a program designed to increase voter turnout among students, is part of “SoCon Votes,” a competition among Southern Conference member institutions to see which schools generate the highest and most improved voter turnout during the 2016 presidential election.etsu_votes_logo

Faculty panelists will deliver presentations between 7 and 8 p.m., followed by a one-hour question-and-answer session.

The panel will be moderated by Dr. Andrew Battista, associate professor and chair of ETSU’s Department of Political Science, International Affairs and Public Administration. Also a panelist, he will deliver a presentation on “The 2016 Election in Historical Perspective.”

Additional panelists and their presentation topics are:

  • Dr. Colin Glennon, assistant professor, Department of Political Science, International Affairs and Public Administration – “The 2016 Election and the Supreme Court”;
  • Dr. Michele Crumley, associate professor, Department of Political Science, International Affairs and Public Administration – “The 2016 Election and International Relations”;
  • Robert Houk, opinion page editor of the Johnson City Press and former adjunct professor of journalism – “The 2016 Election and the Mass Media”;
  • Dr. Daryl Carter, associate professor, Department of History – “The 2016 Election and Racial and Class Politics”; and
  • Dr. Martha Copp, professor, Department of Sociology and Anthropology – “The 2016 Election and Gender Politics.”

For more information, call Dr. Carla Warner, leader of the “ETSU Votes” planning team and director of Adult, Commuter and Transfer Services at ETSU, at 423-439-5641. For disability accommodations, call the ETSU Office of Disability Services at 423-439-8346. Additional information on “ETSU Votes” is available at http://www.etsu.edu/etsuvotes.

 

 

 

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Results

  • Round 1
  • Round 2
  • Round 3
  • Championship Round
1
2
3

Highest Voter Turnout

1
2

Most Improved Voter Turnout

1
2

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