November 27, 2021

Ballot-topia: UMW Students Praised for Voter Participation

Junior philosophy major and Campus Vote Project Fellow Kate McDaid (front, left) works with UMW Votes to help freshman Emma Goehner prepare to head to the polls. Seventy-nine percent of UMW students (more than the national average) cast their ballots in the last election. Photo by Suzanne Carr Rossi.

Junior philosophy major and Campus Vote Project Fellow Kate McDaid (front, left) works with UMW Votes to help freshman Emma Goehner prepare to head to the polls. Seventy-nine percent of UMW students (more than the national average) cast their ballots in the last election. Photo by Suzanne Carr Rossi.

Wearing a white slicker and black rain boots, University of Mary Washington senior Caroline Mowdy approached a tent set up outside George Washington Hall. She needed a ride to the polls. Soon, she was in psychology major Christian Lyman’s blue Toyota Scion and on the way to her voting site, Dorothy Hart Community Center in Fredericksburg.

“As an environmental sustainability major, protections and regulations are important to me,” Mowdy said. “In almost every class I’ve been in, I’ve learned that it all comes back to politics.”

With key Virginia appointments at stake, UMW students like Mowdy braved today’s cool, drizzly weather to get to the polls. It’s the Mary Washington way. Seventy-nine percent of UMW students – more than the national average – cast ballots in the last election, according to the National Study of Learning, Voting and Engagement (NSLVE) report, released last week. Today, UMW Votes, a group that encourages engaged citizenship, lined up a cavalcade of cars, vans and even a trolley to transport students to polling sites and make sure their voices were heard.

“It’s really important, no matter who they vote for,” said sophomore historic preservation major Vivian Reinhardt, who cast her absentee ballot weeks ago but worked with UMW Votes to help those who’d waited until Election Day. “We need more turnout from every age and demographic possible.” Read more.