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Minnesota College Ballot Bowl

ballot bowl logo

Minnesota College Ballot Bowl is the statewide collegiate voter registration competition.  Every two years, your campus and campuses across Minnesota compete against one another over the course of several weeks to register the most students to vote. The Ballot Bowl fosters a concerted campus effort-- through friendly competition and a burst of civic mindedness-- to register your student body to vote.

Whether your campus is two-year, four-year, public or private, this competition will help increase voter registration where you are and on campuses throughout the state.   



Message from Secretary Simon

Secretary Simon would like your college or university in the 2018 Minnesota College Ballot Bowl:

“College campuses are hubs of democracy, activism, and civic engagement. Part of what makes Minnesota so special is our statewide dedication to civic engagement. Your work in 2016 registering, educating, and encouraging young people to become voters was a model of the energy and dedication that made Minnesota best in the nation in voter turnout. In 2018, we strive to continue to lead the country. Be a part of what makes our state a national leader – participate in the 2018 Minnesota College Ballot Bowl and have some fun while doing your part to increase voter registration and participation in Minnesota.”

Sign Up Period (Spring 2018)    

  • During Spring 2018, our office will contact college presidents and student groups to invite them to join.
  • Each college/campus will designate a nonpartisan group, such as the student government, to coordinate the effort.
  • The coordinating group will receive communications and materials from our office, such as voter registration cards and ‘I Will Vote’ stickers for use on campus. This group will work to promote voter registration and the competition to students through tabling, social media, campus newspapers, partnering with other campus groups- any way that works!


Competition (First day of school through Tuesday, October 16)

  • The competition opens the first day of classes (this will vary by school) and will run through Tuesday, October 16. This is the last day for pre-election voter registration in Minnesota (students can also register on Election Day). 
  • Schools can decide for themselves how to tally their registrations. The coordinating group will ensure that all groups participating on campus report their totals to them. *Note: Paper registration forms must arrive at the county election office or the Office of Secretary of State by 5 p.m. on October 16; late forms will require the voter use same-day registration at the polls on election day.


Winners Announced (Before Election Day)

Before Election Day (November 6), our office will announce the winners of the competition. To account for differences in campus size, there will be winners for both the largest number of students registered and the highest percentage of the student body that was registered to vote for two-year and four-year institutions.


2016 Winners and Results

  • The University of Minnesota campus that registered the largest number of students is the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, which registered 8,417 students.

  • The University of Minnesota campus that registered the largest percentage of its student body was University of Minnesota, Rochester, which registered 113 students, or 23 percent of its student body.
  • The four-year Minnesota State University campus that registered the largest number of students and the largest percentage of its student body was Winona State University, which registered 1,861 students, or 24 percent of its student body.

  • The campus in Minnesota’s Private Colleges that registered the largest number of students and the largest percentage of its student body was Gustavus Adolphus, which registered 1,318 students, or 63 percent of its student body.

  • MSCSA conducted their own Voter Cup, a biennial tradition that recognizes two community and technical college campuses for pledging students to vote, and announced the winners last week. The campus that pledged the highest number of students was Century College. The campus that pledged the highest percentage of students was Minnesota West Pipestone.


Minnesota State Universities

Campus Registrations  Estimated % Registered
Winona State  1,861  24%
Minnesota State Mankato 625 5%
St. Cloud State 537 5%
Minnesota State Moorhead 420 8%
Southwest State 237 10%
Bemidji State 200 4%
Metropolitan State 20 >1%



Private colleges and universities*

Campus Registrations  Estimated % Registered
Gustavus Adolphus  1,318  63%
Concordia Moorhead 784 39%
Hamline 614 16%
Carleton 506 27%
St. Scholastica 348 8%
Saint Mary's 306 6%
St. Olaf 200 7%
Macalester 182 8%
Augsburg 155 4%
St. Thomas 115 1%
Bethany Lutheran 88 18%
Bethel 78 3%

 *College of Saint Benedict/Saint John's University and Saint Catherine University registered students to vote but did not tally their results.


University of Minnesota Campuses*

Campus Registrations  Estimated % Registered
Twin Cities  8,417 21%
Duluth 1,939 20%
Rochester 113  23%

*UM Morris registered students to vote but did not tally their results.