Middle Tennessee State University, Northeast State Community College and Carson-Newman University are the winners of this year’s Tennessee College Voter Registration Competition.

More than 2,000 students registered to vote at the 48 schools participating in the September contest, according to a news release from Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett’s office.

The competition took place during September in honor of National Voter Registration Month. Every college and university in the state had the chance to compete by registering the most students to vote and to spread awareness of the campaign on social media using the hashtag #GoVoteTN, along with their school-specific hashtag, the release states.

The winning schools — a four-year public college/university, a two-year community/junior college, and a private college/university — were selected based on the number of new students registered and their social media presence (both weighted by student enrollment) as well as their campus creativity in promoting the college voter registration drive.

In 2018, the average voting rate among campuses in the study was 39.1%, nearly 20 percentage points higher than 2014’s average turnout rate of 19.7%. Turnout increases were widespread, with virtually all campuses seeing an increase over 2014, the report states.

According to a website by Tufts University, which conducted the study through its Institute for Democracy & Higher Education, the University of Tennessee Knoxville and Maryville College participated in the annual registration competition, but Pellissippi State Community College did not.

Tennessee’s 2020 election season kicks off March 3, “Super Tuesday,” with presidential preference and state and county primaries. State and federal primary and county general elections are set Aug. 6, 2020, and the state and federal general election, which includes the presidential race, is set for Nov. 3, 2020.

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