JOHNSON CITY – Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett was at East Tennessee State University Wednesday to congratulate the university for its efforts toward voter registration.
Hargett presented ETSU with an award for work completed during National Voter’s Registration Month in September 2022.
“Congratulations to East Tennessee State University and all the students who worked diligently on social media and in-person to get their fellow students registered to vote,” said Hargett. “In Tennessee, your vote matters. I hope all the newly registered students become active participants in our elections and go vote.”
ETSU celebrated National Voter Registration Day on Sept. 20, encouraging students, faculty, staff and members of the community to register to vote. Among the events was the Civic Couch Party, led by ETSU Votes and the Office of Leadership and Civic Engagement.
“What an honor it is to receive this award,” said Nathaniel Farnor, coordinator of Leadership and Civic Engagement. “At ETSU, we strive to promote lifelong civic engagement among our students, faculty, staff and community.”
Hargett was joined by ETSU leadership, as well as by officials from around the region, including from the Washington County Election Commission Office.
In recent years, ETSU has taken major strides toward promoting civic engagement. In 2022, the campus became an early voting location site. ETSU has also received a report from the Institute for Democracy & Higher Education that revealed student voting on campus increased significantly during the 2020 presidential election. The efforts led by Leadership and Civic Engagement and ETSU Votes helped ETSU earn a Voter Friendly Campus designation for the 2021-22 year.
“Among ETSU's core values is the belief that diversity of people and thought is essential and must be respected,” ETSU President Dr. Brian Noland said. “Voting is the ultimate expression of that idea, as it gives each person a voice and the chance to be heard. I am proud that ETSU is a leader in promoting active participation in our democracy, and I applaud our students and staff for their hard work, creativity and dedication to supporting an engaged citizenry.”