The Minnesota Secretary of State announced the Democracy Cup winners to four colleges and universities that had superior student voting rates according to data just released by the National Study for Learning, Voting and Engagement based out of Tufts University.

The 2020 election busted the myth that students are apathetic about elections,” said Mike Dean, Executive Director of LeadMN, the statewide student association for 2 year college students. “The youth voting wave that began during the 2018 election continued into 2020 with youth voting increasing by more than 8 pts in Minnesota from the 2016 election.”<

2020 Democracy Cup Winners

St. Olaf College

University of Minnesota – Twin Cities

Winona State University

Inver Hills Community College


Read the full report here:

Winners are determined by the colleges’ and universities’ voting rate according to the National Study for Learning, Voting and Engagement (NSLVE) at Tufts University. Institutions need to be enrolled in the program to be eligible for the Democracy Cup. The NSLVE is the largest study of student voter engagement with over 1,100 colleges and universities enrolled and has been tracking voting data since 2012.

These campuses were also recognized nationally last month by the All In Democracy Challenge for having some of the highest voting rates in the country.

  • Highest Voting Rate in the Nation - St. Olaf College
  • Highest Voting Rate for Community Colleges in the Nation - Inver Hills Community College
  • Standout President - Fayneese Miller, Hamline University
  • 23 Seal Awardees to Minnesota Higher Education Institutions

Read the complete listing here: 



From University of Minnesota student Rose Lloyd-Slifkin: "I'm so proud of the student body for their work to engage their peers in the 2020 election. Student voters matter and thanks to the dedicated participants in MSA's voter outreach program, we've set a precedent for engagement that will be sustained for many future elections."

From St. Olaf College Dean of Students, Rosalyn Eaton: "It's tempting to believe that college students are disengaged. And it’s clear that our students are interested, engaged and care about our future."

From Scott Olson, President of Winona State University: ”Winona State University is honored and delighted to be recognized again in the Democracy Cup competition.  We take voting very seriously here, and our students and faculty do a tremendous job in getting our community to the polls.  This was especially challenging during COVID, so I am doubly proud of this achievement.  Without voter participation, we don’t have a democracy, so Winona State University is committed to doing our part.  This makes Minnesota stronger, and we all benefit!”

From Inver Hills Community College Coordinator for Center for Career Development & Community-Based Learning: “Commitment to our communities is central to Inver Hills Community College’s mission, and that includes strengthening our communities through civic engagement. Thank you to the Secretary of State’s office for recognizing our amazing team of students, faculty and staff that worked so hard to get out the vote at a time during the pandemic when our college was completely online.”



This effort is co-sponsored by the Minnesota Secretary of State’s Office, LeadMN (student association for public two year colleges), Students United (student association for four year state universities), Minnesota Student Association (student government for University of Minnesota), Minnesota Association of Private College Students, the All In Campus Democracy Challenge, and Minnesota Campus Compact.