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Monday, April 7, 2014

Today's story of the day comes from Florida State University and does a great job highlighting the work students are doing to secure their voting rights in Florida!

Students fight for right to vote legislation

By: Ross Toback

Florida State students are bringing voter legislation to the top of the agenda on state and federal levels. Jerry Funt of the Progress Coalition at FSU is at the center of bringing voter rights to multiple groups with a focus on college students. With help from other organizations including FairVote and the Florida initiative for Electoral Reform (FLIER), Funt and other student leaders across Florida are doing everything they can to take down 2011’s House Bill 1355.

In that bill, rights to vote for Florida citizens is minimized by a smaller early voting window. This caused up to 250,000 people not being able to vote, according to Funt. Other legislation that minimizes the right to vote for Florida citizens is legislation on felon voting rights. Florida is one of only three states that does not give past felons the right to vote.

The main goal is to turn voting from an implicit right to an explicit right. Nowhere in the constitution is the right to vote specifically mentioned and by giving citizens an explicit right to vote, voters could not be denied by going to the polls. This would be regardless of unchanged information on their voter card or other complications that deny citizens the right to vote.

Funt and other student leaders are focused on bringing a voice to the student. In the recent 2014 municipal elections, Rick Scott and the state of Florida denied University of Florida students from voting at the student union. Funt believes the only way to get legislation reform is through more student involvement. 

“When we lobby at the capitol, the legislatures are constantly shocked to see students involved in any way,” Funt said. “Part of this is because students aren’t as much a part of the democratic process. They aren’t targeted. They’re not a concern of a lot of the democratic process. It’s a shame because the university system in Florida is the most powerful force of economic progress in the state of Florida. The university system brings in more money than any other force. Rick Scott and Florida’s government did a study that said for every dollar they put in education they get 20 dollars back. Students aren’t aware that we do have influence. A lot of representatives at the Capitol aren’t in touch with student views. The only way for them to talk to us is to show them that we’re worth talking to and the only way to do that is to show up on election and show them that students do have the right to vote.”

Funt explained students are having a lot issues changing their address information before election time hits and by the time they know to change it, it’s too late. This reduces the amount of student voters tremendously. Those who oppose making voting an explicit right and opening up voter rights for students and other underrepresented groups say that

“Some of the arguments that we’ve heard against [voter reform] were that they feel everyone has the right to vote but that those rights are implicit so what’s the purpose?” Funt said. “Our response is, an implicit right can only go so far compared to an explicit right.”

Another key issue is that the restrictions on voter legislation is to reduce voter fraud. Voter fraud is extremely scarce across the country and in the state of Florida though. In Federal elections between 2002 and 2005, 26 people were convicted of voter fraud, a tiny .00000013 percent of the vote, according to ABC.

Funt believes it’s only a matter of getting enough momentum and support from state congress for this issue to move forward.

“People have been pretty receptive,” Funt said. “The biggest problem we’ve been having is getting people to care about it enough. Most congressmen and elected officials that we’ve talked to understand what we’re doing, they care about it, but they tell us, ‘we don’t know if this is the kind of thing we can get done right now.’ That’s probably the biggest concern we have. We don’t want this to be something that’s put on the backburner because it’s something that needs to be handled now.”

Posted by Erica Evans 2:11 PM 0 comments

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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Today's CVP story of the day comes from North Carolina's Elon University. It's a great piece on the nonsense logic behind the state's voter 
ID law.

Solving a problem that doesn’t exist: voter ID laws in NC

By The Pendulum Editorial Board

North Carolina recently passed laws that seek to not only tighten ID verification at the polls but also to shorten the voting period by one week and end same-day voting registration. Supporters of the new laws argue they will successfully curtail the prevalence of voter fraud in the state of North Carolina as well as save the state substantial amounts of money by shortening the voting period. These arguments are simply a weak attempt to mask the true purpose of these laws — to keep certain people from having access to the polls.

Many believe one person’s vote is very unlikely to have an effect on the outcome of an election. Though this may be true, providing a clear path to polls and keeping voting turnout percentages high means citizens will strive to be better informed about issues facing their states or countries. North Carolina’s new voter ID laws alienate college students, specifically those who were not born in the state and who are already wary about voting in the first place.

Only 17 percent of the class of 2017, hails from the state of North Carolina. With a majority of Elon students residing outside of the state, these new laws put a massive divide between Elon students and the polls. Elon is not the only school that has a majority of out of state students. Duke University, Wake Forest University and High Point University all draw an overwhelming majority of their student body from outside North Carolina.

College provides an intellectually stimulating platform from which students grow and mature as individuals. On their own for the first time, students form opinions and political views that are unique to them. As the newest eligible members of our democracy, the state and federal government should ensure college students have a clear and concise path to the polls.

A recent Elon University Poll showed that 65 percent of North Carolina residents supported the new law requiring voters to show a photo ID at the polls. The law is most popular amongst Republicans, 96 percent of whom support the new security measures that are now in place. The law is least popular among Democrats, only 36 percent of whom support the voter ID requirements.

The Elon Poll, as well as several other data collection organizations, have found that voter fraud, which has been cited as one of the main reasons for the creation of the law, is very rare. In fact, many cases of voter fraud are often incorrectly classified as fraud. It seems as though only those who support the new law view voter fraud as a crippling threat to our democracy.

The 2014 election cycle will be the first time these new laws are enacted.  Furthermore, the 2016 election cycle will be the first time in North Carolina when college student’s university IDs will not be an acceptable form of identification.  These new measures will have a direct effect on not only limiting participation, but they will also intimidate first time or minority voters.

This issue is not one that is obvious to college students. Elon students have a knack for keeping themselves busy. College students, especially those who hail from outside North Carolina, should pay attention to these laws for they are directly limiting citizens’ rights to participate in elections.

Since the start of the 20th century, voter turnout in the United States has stayed relatively stagnant. According to the Bipartisan Research Center, the average percentage of eligible voter turnout in the U.S. has hovered between 48 and 57 percent since 1900. With women winning the right to vote in 1920, one would think voter turnout would increase as we move further into the century, but this is not the case.

Having a more informed and engaged electorate is not only good for the government, but it is also good for the state of North Carolina. The U.S. was founded on the belief that government officials would be elected by the people and serve the people. Each state should be striving to increase voter turn out, not restrict and limit it.

North Carolina’s new voter ID laws are in direct conflict with that constitutional right. Voting is a right that all citizens of the United States should be able to participate in regardless of race, sex or economic background. Government officials in North Carolina should reverse these new restrictions so all people may participate in our constitutional right to vote.

Members of the Editorial Board are Nick Foley, Jonathan Black, Katy Canada, Greg Honan and Lauren Phillips. 

Posted by Erica Evans 1:44 PM 0 comments

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Friday, February 28, 2014

Today's story of the day comes from Miami University, which just happens to be the alma mater of Kristen Muthig, our Communications and Policy Manager! She has reason to be proud given this great piece on "Freedom Summer".

‘Hot summer’ survivors revisit voting movement

By James Steinbauer
  
In celebration of the 50th anniversary of “Freedom Summer” in 1964, the meeting of more than 800 students on Miami University’s Western Campus to prepare for African-American voter registration in the South, the Miami University Lecture Series welcomed Mary Frances Berry, Charlayne Hunter-Gault and Juan Williams. The three key players of the Civil Rights Movement spoke Monday night at Hall Auditorium about “Freedom Summer: the Voting Rights Act and the Political Realities of 2014.”
  
After an introduction by lecture series committee member Fatimata Ndiaye, the three speakers held a discussion in front of a packed auditorium in which they connected Miami’s Freedom Summer, also known as the “hot summer of 1964,” to the issues of the 60s to present day civil rights actualities. All three speakers struggled during the early years of the Civil Rights Movement, but have persevered and become leaders in their specific fields.
  
Currently a professor of American Social Thought at the University of Pennsylvania, Berry was the first black woman to head a major research university, was appointed Assistant Secretary of Education by President Jimmy Carter and became commissioner and vice chairman of the US Commission on Civil Rights in 1980.
  
A reporter and journalist, Hunter-Gault graduated from the University of Georgia in 1963 and has been the recipient of many prestigious awards working for publications such as New Yorker Magazine, The New York Times, CNN and National Public Radio (NPR).
  
Juan Williams, a journalist and political analyst for Fox News, writes for several newspapers including The Washington Post and The New York Times and is the author of Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Years, 1954-1965.
  
“What you should know about each of our guests is that they were all involved in the civil rights struggle in one way or another,” lecture moderator Ronald Scott said. “Whether as participants or those who were shaping policy or as journalists that covered the events. They were intricately involved in the movement for a number of years and their contributions can not be acknowledged enough.”
  
While all three speakers held an influential roll in the Civil Rights Movement their opinions on what, if anything, led to justice for African-Americans rarely matched up.
  
“I thought the variety of opinions was fantastic,” said graduate student Hillary Kovacs. “I felt like I learned a lot of new things.”
  
Williams stressed the overwhelming power of the Voting Rights Act as a key player for the Civil Rights Movement; however, for Berry and Hunter-Gault, the right to vote alone will not give equality. Hunter-Gault specifically underlined the mobilization of the people and the obligation to hold their leaders accountable as what leads to justice.
  
“I loved how they stressed that students in society today should participate in talking to politicians and have an active roll in their society,” Lecture Series Committee member Ashley VanBuskirk said. “They connected Freedom Summer to today as an example of students becoming more active in their community.”

Posted by Erica Evans 11:16 AM 0 comments

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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

We’re very happy to report that Campus Vote Project’s Student Voting Summit was a success with insightful and exciting discussions about how to engage students and young people. Our panelists included a range of experts, advocates and organizers. We hope their unique experiences and ideas for what has worked to engage young people will inspire others to do work at their colleges and keep this movement going.

CVP Coordinator Dan Vicuna opened the summit by describing the various barriers to voting that disproportionately affect college students. He also summarized the state legislative attacks students are facing and some of the pro-voter reforms in other states that will help more young people participate in our democracy.

CIRCLE’s Abby Kiesa used her group’s extensive research on students and democratic engagement to flesh out and present the challenges to student voters and those who try to reach them. Turnout and engagement for young people has been historically low, but research has shown that can be remedied by engaging students in the process and providing young people with information about deadlines and available voting options. Kiesa’s presentation concluded with the fact that innovation and collaboration between stakeholders are the keys to breaking the pattern of poor engagement and low turnout from young people. That idea of working together to motivate students resonated throughout the day.

The importance of collaboration between students, student government, campus administrators and even boards of trustees was another theme that all three panels and other speakers addressed. Speaking about her experience at the national level, Former Under Secretary for the U.S. Department of Education Martha Kanter noted that all these different groups need to work together to build a civic environment on college campuses. Panelists Sammie Dow, from the NAACP Youth and College Division and Christina Sanders, from the Texas League of Young Voters Education Fund stressed using student government, heads of the academic departments and other organizations to make progress on campuses. Many of the national groups represented on the panels noted they have resources and local chapters to help make those connections and begin that work on campus. An important takeaway from these speakers was the idea that student leaders are not operating in a vacuum; help is out there to get things jump started.

Keynote speaker U.S. Representative Jan Schakowsky (D-Illinois) gave a passionate address to summit attendees.  In addition to inspiring students, Rep. Schakowsky has been their advocate in Congress. She introduced the bipartisan Student VOTER Act, which would require colleges and universities that receive federal dollars to offer voter registration on campus.  This year, her bill was included in the broader Voter Empowerment Act, a comprehensive election reform bill, introduced by Rep. John Lewis and co-sponsored by Rep. Schakowsky. In her speech, she called on students to make this summer Freedom Summer Part 2 and start a movement to register young voters. 2014 marks the 50th Anniversary of Freedom Summer, when students traveled to Mississippi to help African Americans register to vote. Rep. Schakowsky urged Summit attendees to step up and take charge of this movement.  Though national advocates, like Rep. Schakowsky, are working for legislative change it is still up to students to make waves at the local level.

Leaders from North Carolina, Texas, Washington and Illinois offered creative examples of how their organizations and students in their states have motivated others to register and vote. Students in North Carolina and Texas have come under direct attack from lawmakers, and students have lead the charge to bring attention to these issues, fight back, and make sure young people understand what these attacks mean for them.

As Martha Kanter noted at the beginning of the day, it is important to communicate with students often and with a variety of tools. Every panelist provided examples of how they do that, from using social media to Washington Bus’ VoteBot. We hope students and leaders took new and creative ideas away with them after the event and we are excited to see how they put those ideas to use this coming year.

Posted by Kristen Muthig 1:39 PM 0 comments

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Register for FREE TODAY! Tickets are almost gone!

Tomorrow, the Fair Elections Legal Network is hosting a Campus Vote Project summit in Washington, DC on student and youth voting. The event will highlight the current state of student voting rights and facilitate an exchange of ideas for overcoming the challenges to youth participation in our democracy. Space is extremely limited so reserve your spot today!

We're excited to announce that student voting advocate and member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), will deliver our Keynote Address!

Keynote Address:

  • Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) - Rep. Schakowsky was elected to represent Illinois' 9th Congressional District in 1998, after serving for eight years in the Illinois General Assembly. Last Congress, Rep. Schakowsky introduced the bipartisan Student VOTER Act, which would require colleges and universities that receive federal dollars to offer voter registration on campus.  This year, her bill was included in the broader Voter Empowerment Act, a comprehensive election reform bill, introduced by Rep. John Lewis and co-sponsored by Rep. Schakowsky.

Introduction 10:30 AM:

  • Martha Kanter, former Under Secretary, United States Department of Education and current Distinguished Visiting Professor of Higher Education, New York University - Ms. Kanter will discuss the vital role that colleges and universities can play in improving the civic health of our nation by empowering college students with the information they need to participate in our democracy.

  • Abby Kiesa, Youth Coordinator and Researcher, Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) - Ms. Kiesa will discuss the state of civic education in the United States and the effect that lack of basic voting information has on youth turnout.

Panels:

  • “Vote to Vote Combat” 11:30 AM - Voter Suppression and Strategies to Fight Back: Students have increasingly been the target of legislative and administrative efforts designed to make it harder for them to vote. This panel will feature leaders who have waged efforts to fight back against voter suppression and empower students to exercise their democratic rights.
    • Moderator: Phaedra Jackson, National Field Director, Rock the Vote
    • Sammie Dow, National Director, NAACP Youth and College Division
    • Maggie Duncan, Program Manager, League of Women Voters
    • Jessica Injejikian, Charlotte Organizing Fellow, NC Vote Defenders
  • “Having ‘the Talk’” 1:30 PM- Communicating with Students about Voting: Getting the attention of students to engage them in political activity can be a challenge when their time is occupied with the many distractions that come with being in school. Panelists will discuss creative messaging strategies organizations have implemented on campus to help studentsrecognize a link between issues they care about and voting.
    • Moderator: Brian Stewart, Communications Director, Generation Progress
    • Maria Fernanda Cabello, Organizer, United We Dream
    • Katie Stultz, Campus Coordinator, Washington Bus
    • Sophia Zaman, President, United States Student Association
  • “Playing the Field” 2:30 PM - Engaging Students on Campus: There are significant differences between campuses when it comes to student organizations and their capacity to increase political activity among students. This panel will feature experienced field organizers who will discuss important lessons learned when creating, activating, and collaborating withstudent organizations in support of increased student voting.
    • Moderator: Andy MacCracken, Executive Director, National Campus Leadership Council
    • Sesali Bowen, National Campus Coordinator, Planned Parenthood   
    • Rebecca Reynolds, Executive Director, Chicago Votes
    • Christina Sanders, State Director, Texas League of Young Voters Education Fund 

RSVP via Eventbrite

 

Lunch will be provided and space is limited. Registration begins at 9:30 AM. Programming to run from 10:30 AM to 4 PM with a networking reception to follow.

 Twitter: #SVS2014               Facebook: CampusVoteProject

Posted by Erica Evans 3:08 PM 0 comments

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Monday, February 3, 2014

Register TODAY! Tickets are very limited!

On February 6, 2014, the Fair Elections Legal Network is hosting a Campus Vote Project summit in Washington, DC on student and youth voting. The event will highlight the current state of student voting rights and facilitate an exchange of ideas for overcoming the challenges to youth participation in our democracy. Space is extremely limited so reserve your spot today!

Today we're excited to announce that student voting advocate and member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), will deliver our Keynote Address!

Keynote Address:

  • Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) - Rep. Schakowsky was elected to represent Illinois' 9th Congressional District in 1998, after serving for eight years in the Illinois General Assembly. Last Congress, Rep. Schakowsky introduced the bipartisan Student VOTER Act, which would require colleges and universities that receive federal dollars to offer voter registration on campus.  This year, her bill was included in the broader Voter Empowerment Act, a comprehensive election reform bill, introduced by Rep. John Lewis and co-sponsored by Rep. Schakowsky.

Introduction:

  • Martha Kanter, former Under Secretary, United States Department of Education and current Distinguished Visiting Professor of Higher Education, New York University - Ms. Kanter will discuss the vital role that colleges and universities can play in improving the civic health of our nation by empowering college students with the information they need to participate in our democracy.

  • Abby Kiesa, Youth Coordinator and Researcher, Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) - Ms. Kiesa will discuss the state of civic education in the United States and the effect that lack of basic voting information has on youth turnout.

Panels:

  • “Vote to Vote Combat” - Voter Suppression and Strategies to Fight Back: Students have increasingly been the target of legislative and administrative efforts designed to make it harder for them to vote. This panel will feature leaders who have waged efforts to fight back against voter suppression and empower students to exercise their democratic rights.
    • Moderator: Phaedra Jackson, National Field Director, Rock the Vote
    • Sammie Dow, National Director, NAACP Youth and College Division
    • Maggie Duncan, Program Manager, League of Women Voters
    • Jessica Injejikian, Charlotte Organizing Fellow, NC Vote Defenders
  • “Having ‘the Talk’” - Communicating with Students about Voting: Getting the attention of students to engage them in political activity can be a challenge when their time is occupied with the many distractions that come with being in school. Panelists will discuss creative messaging strategies organizations have implemented on campus to help studentsrecognize a link between issues they care about and voting.
    • Moderator: Brian Stewart, Communications Director, Generation Progress
    • Maria Fernanda Cabello, Organizer, United We Dream
    • Katie Stultz, Campus Coordinator, Washington Bus
    • Sophia Zaman, President, United States Student Association
  • “Playing the Field” - Engaging Students on Campus: There are significant differences between campuses when it comes to student organizations and their capacity to increase political activity among students. This panel will feature experienced field organizers who will discuss important lessons learned when creating, activating, and collaborating withstudent organizations in support of increased student voting.  
    • Moderator: Andy MacCracken, Executive Director, National Campus Leadership Council
    • Sesali Bowen, National Campus Coordinator, Planned Parenthood   
    • Rebecca Reynolds, Executive Director, Chicago Votes
    • Christina Sanders, Executive Director, Texas League of Young Voters Education Fund 

RSVP via Eventbrite

 

Lunch will be provided and space is limited. Registration begins at 9:30 AM. Programming to run from 10:30 AM to 4 PM with a networking reception to follow.

 Twitter: #SVS2014               Facebook: CampusVoteProject

Posted by Erica Evans 6:21 PM 0 comments

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Thursday, January 30, 2014

On February 6, 2014, the Fair Elections Legal Network is hosting a Campus Vote Project summit in Washington, DC on student and youth voting. The event will highlight the current state of student voting rights and facilitate an exchange of ideas for overcoming the challenges to youth participation in our democracy. Space is limited so reserve your spot today!

Opening remarks will be given by:

Abby Kiesa, Youth Coordinator and Researcher at the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement - Ms. Kiesa will discuss the state of civic education in the United States and the effect that lack of basic voting information has on youth turnout.

Martha KanterMartha Kanter, former Under Secretary, United States Department of Education and current Distinguished Visiting Professor of Higher Education, New York University's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development (pictured right) - Ms. Kanter will discuss the vital role that colleges and universities can play in improving the civic health of our nation by empowering college students with the information they need to participate in our democracy.

The agenda includes the following panels:

  • "Vote to Vote Combat" - Voter Suppression and Strategies to Fight Back: Students have increasingly been the target of legislative and administrative efforts designed to make it harder for them to vote. This panel will feature leaders who have waged efforts to fight back against voter suppression and empower students to exercise their democratic rights.

Moderator: Phaedra Jackson, National Field Director, Rock the Vote
Sammie Dow, National Director, NAACP Youth and College Division
Maggie Duncan, Elections Program Manager, League of Women Voters
Jessica Injejikian, Charlotte Organizing Fellow, NC Vote Defenders

  • "Having the 'Talk'" - Communicating with Students About Voting: Getting the attention of students to engage them in political activity can be a challenge when their time is occupied with the many distractions that come with being in school. Panelists will discuss creative messaging strategies organizations have implemented on campus to help students recognize a link between issues they care about and voting.

Moderator: Brian Stewart, Communications Director, Generation Progress
Maria Fernanda Cabello, Organizer, United We Dream
Katie Stultz, Campus Coordinator, Washington Bus
Sophia Zaman, President, United States Student Association

  • "Playing the Field" - Engaging Students On Campus: There are significant differences between campuses when it comes to student organizations and their capacity to increase political activity among students. This panel will feature experienced field organizers who will discuss important lessons learned when creating, activating, and collaborating with student organizations in support of increased student voting.     

Moderator: Andy MacCracken, Executive Director, National Campus Leadership Council
Sesali Bowen, National Campus Coordinator, Planned Parenthood 
Rebecca Reynolds, Executive Director, Chicago Votes
Christina Sanders, State Director, Texas League of Young Voters Education Fund

Lunch will be provided and space is limited. Registration begins at 9:30 AM. Programming to run from 10:30 AM to 4 PM with a networking reception to follow.

 Twitter: #SVS2014               Facebook: CampusVoteProject

Register via Eventbrite

Posted by Erica Evans 4:52 PM 0 comments

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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

We admit, we're cheating on this one a little, it does mention FELN. This is still a great opinion piece from The Florida Independent Alligator about on-campus voting in Florida, and we couldn't agree more with its message!

UF students deserve an on-campus early voting location

By Kevin Gerson

Voting isn’t just a necessary part of democracy. Voting is democracy. And, as the Supreme Court ruled in a 1979 landmark case, students establishing residency have the right to vote in the communities where they attend college. Students pay state sales tax. They are subject to the jurisdiction of the court system where they attend school. Most importantly, students are directly impacted by the decisions made by elected officials in the city, county and state governments where they attend college. Yet, at UF, the status quo prevents far too many students from exercising their fundamental voting rights.

A study conducted by the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement indicates that only about one in 10 students cite lack of interest as their reason for not voting. Unsurprisingly, research from the Fair Elections Legal Network indicates that college students are far more likely to cite being too busy or having conflicting work as their reasons for not voting than both their non-collegiate peers and members of other age groups.

Clearly, a significant portion of the student population want to vote but can’t. Students’ busy schedules and their lack of transportation can make voting on Election Day difficult. As the supervisor of elections of Alachua County said, early voting is a “convenient alternative to traditional Election Day voting.” For students, this alternative is often the difference between having the ability to decide who should have power in city hall, Tallahassee and Washington, D.C., and having others make decisions for them.

The UF Student Senate unanimously passed a bill sponsored by members of both political parties urging local policymakers to establish an on-campus early voting location. In reaction to the passionate response by the Student Body and persistent efforts by Student Government, the city commission has taken initial action to approve an early voting location on the UF campus. This proposal, along with a separate initiative to align the date of city elections to coincide with the date of state and federal elections, would benefit the students, staff and faculty at UF along with the many other Alachua County residents who would undoubtedly benefit from these important reforms.

Despite the current momentum of the movement to institute an early voting location at UF, we must all continue to pressure elected officials — specifically those in city government — to follow through on their promises.

Establishing an on-campus early voting location isn’t just important for our students. It’s also important for our democracy.

Posted by Erica Evans 2:06 PM 0 comments

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Friday, January 24, 2014

We're very excited to announce the speakers and panelists for our first ever Student Voting Summit! More announcements to come, so make sure to check back with us between now and February 6th!

Please Join Us! Registration Now OPEN!

On February 6, 2014, the Fair Elections Legal Network is hosting a Campus Vote Project summit in Washington, DC on student and youth voting. The event will highlight the current state of student voting rights and share ideas on how to develop effective strategies for overcoming the challenges to youth participation in our democracy. We're happy to announce that registration for this event is now open, but space is limited so reserve your spot today!

Introduction:

  • Martha Kanter, former Under Secretary, United States Department of Education
  • Abby Kiesa, Youth Coordinator and Researcher, Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE)

Panels:

  • “Vote to Vote Combat” - Voter Suppression and Strategies to Fight Back: Students have increasingly been the target of legislative and administrative efforts designed to make it harder for them to vote. This panel will feature leaders who have waged efforts to fight back against voter suppression and empower students to exercise their democratic rights.
    • Moderator: Phaedra Jackson, National Field Director, Rock the Vote
    • Sammie Dow, National Director, NAACP Youth and College Division
    • Maggie Duncan, Program Manager, League of Women Voters
    • Jessica Injejikian, Charlotte Organizing Fellow, NC Vote Defenders
  • “Having ‘the Talk’” - Communicating with Students about Voting: Getting the attention of students to engage them in political activity can be a challenge when their time is occupied with the many distractions that come with being in school. Panelists will discuss creative messaging strategies organizations have implemented on campus to help studentsrecognize a link between issues they care about and voting.
    • Moderator: Brian Stewart, Communications Director, Generation Progress
    • Maria Fernanda Cabello, Organizer, United We Dream
    • Katie Stultz, Campus Coordinator, Washington Bus
    • Sophia Zaman, President, United States Student Association
  • “Playing the Field” - Engaging Students on Campus: There are significant differences between campuses when it comes to student organizations and their capacity to increase political activity among students. This panel will feature experienced field organizers who will discuss important lessons learned when creating, activating, and collaborating withstudent organizations in support of increased student voting.  
    • Moderator: Andy MacCracken, Executive Director, National Campus Leadership Council
    • Sesali Bowen, National Campus Coordinator, Planned Parenthood   
    • Rebecca Reynolds, Executive Director, Chicago Votes
    • Christina Sanders, Executive Director, Texas League of Young Voters Education Fund 

RSVP via Eventbrite

 

Lunch will be provided and space is limited. Registration begins at 9:30 AM. Programming to run from 10:30 AM to 4 PM with a networking reception to follow.

Twitter: #SVS2014               Facebook: CampusVoteProject

Posted by Erica Evans 11:50 AM 0 comments

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Daily Tar Heel strikes again! This piece on what the Presidential Commission on Election Administration's recommendations mean for North Carolina voting laws is great! If only we'd thought of it first, you might've caught something similar on the FELN blog. Good work!

N.C. voting laws vs. Obama commission recommendations

By Eric Garcia

President Barack Obama’s Commission on Election Administration released a report today with recommendations to simplify the voting process.

Obama called for the creation of the commission in his 2013 State of the Union Address as a way to cut down on waiting time to vote.

The report calls for a series of policy recommendations. See how North Carolina matches up:

  • Online Voter Registration: The report calls for allowing voters to register to vote online to enhance accuracy and efficiency of its voter rolls. According to the recently-passed North Carolinavoting law, electronic signatures, including ones by a third party cannot be considered valid, but one captured by a state agency are valid.
  • Increased use of schools as voting places: The report says schools are the most efficient choice to serve as polling places. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, North Carolina requires or encourages the use of schools and other public facilities, but also allows churches to be used as polling locations.
  • Electronic Pollbooks: The report recommended the use of electronic pollbooks to improve accuracy and efficiency. Under North Carolina’s voting laws, State Board of Elections are called to review and make policy recommendations for the use of electronic pollbooks.
  • Expanding Early Voting: The report notes that while mail-in absentee voting is popular in the West, in-person early voting is more popular in the South. This was the case in North Carolina, where 2.5 million voters cast their ballot early. As a result the report says, “In order to limit congestion on Election Day and to respond to the demand for greater opportunities to vote beyond the traditional Election Day polling place, states that have not already done so should expand alternative ways of voting, such as mail balloting and in-person early voting.” This summer’s voting law changes had increased access to absentee voting in North Carolina, allowing for absentee forms to be posted online and be reproduced by county board of elections offices. But the law also reduced early voting by a week, which could limit a popular option among voters.

Posted by Erica Evans 12:05 PM 0 comments