ACM, FSU named in magazine's best colleges for student voting

Sep. 17—CUMBERLAND — Allegany College of Maryland and Frostburg State University were recently listed on Washington Monthly's honor roll of America's best colleges for student voting.

According to the nonprofit magazine, "to make the student voting honor roll, universities had to submit 2020 and 2022 action plans to the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge. Schools also needed to have signed up to receive data from the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement, which calculates college-specific registration and voting rates."

Additionally, the schools must have made their 2018 and 2020 NSLVE data available to the public.

"In short, schools need to have shown a repeated commitment to increasing student voting — and have been transparent about the results. We then ordered the list by student voter registration rate," according to the magazine.

Diane McMahon, ACM sociology professor and faculty director of the College to Community Partnership Center, said she was happy and excited to see the college listed on Washington Monthly's honor roll.

The school partners with various community organizations to provide resources and education that encourage students to register to vote.

"Voting helps get the leaders in place that will work on the issues that you really care about," she said.

McMahon also said a "high priority" is for every student to be educated in civic learning and democratic engagement.

That includes teaching students to get involved in the community, help lead and find solutions to problems, she said.

ACM also promotes National Voter Registration Day, which is Sept. 20, by hosting a display and informational table on campus, McMahon said.

"Voting is complicated," she said of the need to know how, where, when and options, including mail-in ballots to vote. "It really helps to have someone there to answer your questions."

ACM's student voter registration ambassadors this semester are Allen Brown, Cornell Johnson and Miles Newsome.

Brown, of Baltimore, is a returning registration ambassador.

In May, he received the ALL IN Student Voting Honor Roll award.

According to the organization's website,, the award recognizes college students at participating campuses who are advancing "nonpartisan student voter registration, education and turnout efforts as well as ensuring equitable access" to the polls.

"It is very important for students to become voters because if they don't vote someone else will and it's like your voice isn't being heard once (that) happens," Brown said via email.

Frostburg resident Delanie Blubaugh works for The Greater Cumberland Committee as an executive assistant who focuses on digital media and communications.

She graduated from Frostburg State University in May.

In her senior year, Blubaugh, a political science major, served as student program coordinator for FSU's Office of Civic Engagement.

The Civic Engagement organization hosted tables that provided information about voter registration and political candidate resources in areas of the FSU campus including the student union.

"(Students) could come and actually get an answer from a person," Blubaugh said.

"We could walk them through the voter registration process," she said and added that the organization provides services that are "really impactful for students on campus."

Patrick O'Brien is director of FSU's Civic Engagement office.

To increase student voter engagement, the department works with the university's Beall Institute for Public Affairs, and partners with several local community organizations, including local election boards and the NAACP, as well as national groups.

"We review our voting data from previous years," O'Brien said of finding ways to increase student participation.

Additionally, the department supports non-biased platforms, via activities including town halls, to encourage dialogue on the subject of politics and voting.

"We've put a strong effort into the educational side," O'Brien said and added that topics discussed include racism, LGBTQ and the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

He was pleased that FSU was listed in the Washington Monthly honor roll article.

"We feel great about that," O'Brien said. "It's nice to see that we're being recognized for those efforts."

Teresa McMinn is the Digital Editor for the Cumberland Times-News. She can be reached at 304-639-2371 or