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#1 at Packing the Polls

NC State achieved the highest voter registration in the Atlantic Coast Conference and more than 80 percent voter participation in the 2020 presidential election.

A student in front of Talley Student Union holds an envelope labeled "2020 voter registration application enclosed"

NC State has earned the Highest Voter Registration Award in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) for the Athletic Challenges Awards Ceremony from the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge for nonpartisan student voter participation efforts in the 2020 Election. Additionally, the university has earned a Platinum Seal from the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge for achieving 80-89 percent voter participation in the 2020 presidential election.

NC State was recognized with both awards during the DemocrACCy Athletic Challenges Awards Ceremony on Wednesday, Nov. 10. 

“I am so incredibly proud of the great work that our students, staff, faculty and community organizations have done to improve overall voter engagement at NC State over the past few years,” said Brian Mathis, associate director for Student Leadership and Engagement and chair of the Pack the Polls Coalition. “Without the campus and community collaborations with Pack the Polls, it would not have been possible to host an Early Voting Site at Talley Student Union and to have one of the highest student voter participation rates in the state of North Carolina.”

A ribbon logo for the Platinum Award for voter participation

In its third year, the All IN Campus Democracy Challenge recognized select higher education institutions, educators, coaches and students for their extraordinary work in student voter engagement during the 2020 presidential election. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and most students learning virtually, NC State and the other honorees ensured students across the country could cast their ballots. 

This is the first year that ALL IN honored the work of their Athletic Conference Voting Challenges, in which schools compete against their athletic rivals to increase nonpartisan student voter participation and engagement. NC State University had the highest student voter registration rate of all ACC schools with 92 percent of eligible students registered to vote. 

The 2020 election cycle saw unprecedented voter registration and turnout among college students according to the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE), a research study of the Institute for Democracy in Higher Education (IDHE) at the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life at Tufts University. NSLVE reported that 66 percent of college students voted in the 2020 elections, a 14 point increase from 2016.

“When colleges collaborate and compete within athletic conferences to engage students in the democratic process, everyone wins. The rise in voter participation and engagement for college students in last year’s Presidential Election was unprecedented and it wouldn’t have been possible without the efforts of the dedicated students, coaches, athletic directors, faculty and administrators that are part of the ALL IN Challenge network,” said Jen Domagal-Goldman, executive director of the ALL IN Challenge. “The hard work of these trailblazing honorees will help support many of the country’s future leaders in fulfilling the equitable and engaged vision of democracy to which we aspire.”

Learn more about the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge and see a full list of winning campuses at

About Pack the Polls

Founded in 2016, Pack the Polls is a campus-wide coalition on voter engagement and education. The Pack the Polls coalition has three main missions:

  • Foster a coordinated impact by bringing together organizations, faculty, students and staff from across the university and greater community that share similar goals of activating students to become civically engaged in upcoming elections.
  • Provide civic engagement education, activities and centralized information to the NC State community.
  • Increase voter registration and election turnout using creative engagement tactics.

Learn more about Pack the Polls and voting at NC State here.