Stand Up for Student Voting Rights in Florida

The following post is by Anna Baringer from Gainesville, Florida. Anna is a student at University of Florida where she studies economics and political science. In addition to being on the Campus Vote Project Student Advisory Board, she also serves as president of a student organization called Gators for Underrepresented Voters. She helps provide nonpartisan information to students and organize voter registration drives and advocacy events. In Florida, no college campus can serve as an early voting location. Florida Statute 101.657 lists the locations permitted to host early voting locations. Despite listing locations like a “stadium, convention center… or government-owned community center,” in 2014,  Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner declared that the University of Florida could not use our student union as an early voting location. The director of the Florida Division of Elections, Maria Matthews, later released a statement stating the student union does not qualify as a government-owned convention center because “the Reitz Union is a structure designed for, and affiliated with, a specific educational institution.” This statute interpretation has rippled to prevent any building on any Florida campus from being used as an early voting site. As a result, students at many of the state’s biggest universities, are faced with a dilemma: walk miles to the nearest polling location or wait to cast a ballot until Election Day. At the University of Florida, home to more than 50,000 students, the nearest early voting location is 2.5 miles away, about a 50-minute walk. At the University of Central Florida, a school of almost 70,000, the nearest early voting site is 3 miles away, about an hour’s...

Act Now. Engage Your Peers

The following post is by Amara Reese-Hansell from Bozeman, Montana and a current student at Montana State University where she studies political science and women/gender studies. In addition to being on the Campus Votes Student Advisory Board, she also works at Forward Montana Foundation as the High School Outreach Coordinator. She facilitates high school programs across the state and creates spaces for young people to flex their organizing and leadership skills. She is also on the board of Montana Conservation Voters. Creating spaces for young people of all genders, races, and abilities to engage in our democracy is something I am incredibly passionate about – which is why both the CVP Student Advisory Board and Forward Montana Foundation have been so important to me. There are many reasons why young people might feel disengaged and disempowered in politics. To name a few – the language of ballot initiatives is not often meant to be read and understood by young people, polling locations are often in difficult places for college students and other young people to navigate, information is low and sometimes impossible to find for local and state races. The bright side is – these problems are fixable. There are small ways to make big changes in your community that allow more equitable access to our ballot box. Organize a call night with your friends and call the young people in your community to remind them when and where they can cast their ballot in the upcoming election. Attend your senator’s town halls and ask them questions – hold them accountable. Call your local high school and make sure seniors...

CVP is Hiring Florida and Pennsylvania Coordinators

Campus Vote Project is looking for motivated people to join our growing staff and work with students on campuses in Florida and Pennsylvania. We are hiring two full-time state coordinators so if you are interested in joining our team and working with campuses in Florida or Pennsylvania please consider applying for these new opportunities. Florida Coordinator Pennsylvania...

CVP, Young Invincibles and partners call on Senate to strengthen HEA

As an organization whose mission is to help campuses institutionalize reforms that empower students with the information they need to register and vote, we work with colleges and universities every day to translate their civic missions to produce engaged citizens. Voting is fundamental to a civilly engaged life and voter registration is the first step on that journey. The precise details of how to register and vote vary across the country but one constant should be institutions of higher education empowering students with information about registration and voting. The Higher Education Act (HEA) sets a baseline and provides guidance for colleges and universities to provide their students with information on voter registration. Campus Vote Project is proud to stand with Young Invicicbles, and all the other organizations that signed the letter to the Senate HELP Committee. We joined together to implore the committee to strengthen and improve the HEA voter registration provisions to ensure students across the country get the information and support they need to participate in our democracy. The Honorable Lamar Alexander                                       The Honorable Patty Murray Chairman                                                                            Ranking Member Senate HELP Committee                                                   Senate HELP Committee Washington, DC 20515                                                    Washington, DC 20515   Dear Chairman Alexander, Ranking Member Murray, and members of the Senate HELP Committee, The undersigned organizations write to support protecting and expanding the campus voter registration provision in the Higher Education Act. Speaking as organizations that are dedicated to promoting civic and voter participation among young people, it is...

Make Your 2018 Voting Resolutions

by Debi Lombardi, CVP National Program Director Heading into 2018, CVP is ready to continue our mission to empower students to register and vote. As part of that resolution, we will be identifying 150 institutions to participate in the VFC program, recruiting 80 Democracy Fellows in Ohio, Michigan, North Carolina, and Virginia, and releasing new materials to support our partners. Those are just a few of the ways we want to help students get engaged in the 2018 midterm elections and beyond. However, we cannot reach everyone so here are a few ways you can help too. Check your voter registration status. Whether you have moved recently or just haven’t cast a ballot recently, it’s important to make sure your voter registration status is up-to-date. Check it out and register to vote using Rock the Vote’s voter registration tool. Have three friends check their voter registration status. The best way to support your friends and peers is to reminder them to check their registration status and make sure it is up-to-date. Find out when your next local or statewide election is. Local elections happen all the time and primary elections will be happening this spring. Visit the websites for your local elections office or your secretary of state to find out when the next election is in your state. Look for answers for any other elections information. Each state has different deadlines, opportunities to register, ID requirements and ways to cast a ballot. Check out our state student guides to find out the requirements for your state. Sign up for our mailing list to stay up-to-date on or work....