Campus Vote Project Blog

The CVP Blog keeps you up-to-date on the latest election-related information and provides insight on how to best engage with students, campus administrators and election officials.

Join the CVP Team in Ohio and Michigan

We are excited to announce that Campus Vote Project is hiring two full-time state coordinator positions! If you are interested in joining our team and working with campuses in Ohio or Michigan please consider applying for these new opportunities. Ohio Coordinator Michigan...

Why Getting Involved in Local Elections Matters

By Brian Kaam, CVP Student Advisory Board Member from Florida Atlantic University Every year, hundreds of candidates run for political office in many different levels of government. The level of government that has the most direct impact, however, is local government. While this may seem to contradict the common belief that national elections have the greatest influence on the electorate, it is true. Let me explain: Members of Congress Have a Difficult Time Finding Common Ground, Regardless of Their Party Affiliation Members of Congress are focused on broad policies for the entire country, represent different constituencies, and often receive campaign contributions from entities that have a stake in national affairs. What is best for an urban district in South Florida may not be an adequate proposal for a rural district in Arkansas. With different interests on the table, and different parties controlling different branches of government, it is not unusual to see gridlock. The nation’s current state of affairs as it pertains to partisan control of government depicts this reality. While there is currently a unified government, we have not seen any major legislation passed. There may be a multitude of reasons why this is the case, but I am certain competing constituencies and lack of consensus are two of them. In local elections, candidates also have different constituencies, but achieving consensus on legislation is easier among 5-7 city commissioners than it is among 435 members of Congress. Representatives of smaller jurisdictions tend to know the issues affecting their respective communities, and input from constituents is more likely to be heeded. Depending on the type of legislation being passed,...

Be A Part of NVRD

by Lynette Quintero, CVP Student Advisory Board member and student at UC-Berkeley Celebrate democracy on a campus near you this National Voter Registration Day (NVRD), September 26th! You can empower your students and community by participating and helping citizens register to vote.  Here are some tips on how to take advantage of all the resources available, and host a successful and festive NVRD. Sign up to be a NVRD partner to receive social media tools, posters, stickers and more for your event, whether it is large or small. The deadline to receive free materials is Monday September 4. More is better with a crowd so rally up with your school mascot, clubs on campus, student government members, professors, local politicians, and community businesses to spread the word and bring everyone out to register to vote on NVRD! Make sure you and your volunteers are trained and prepared on NVRD with plenty of information on upcoming elections for students registering for the first time! Create a booth or table with fun patriotic decorations to draw attention, think RED, WHITE, and BLUE! Whoever said registering to vote couldn’t be a party? Throw in a photo booth section with fun props! Patriotic sunglasses, Uncle Sam hats, and white boards where people can write why they’re voting all amplify the interactive fun! You can even go all out and try a Leslie Knope (from Parks and Recreation) cut-out! Who wouldn’t want a photo with Leslie Knope while celebrating democracy!? Get your local election office on board to be a trusted source for though voter registration questions at your event. National Voter Registration Day...

The Download on Voting Rights

The end of summer vacation may be difficult, but we want to make it a bit easier with some of our favorite podcast episodes covering the history of voting and voting rights. The Axe Files: Episode 162, An Interview with John Lewis Congressman John Lewis joins David in Atlanta to talk about his experiences during the Civil Rights Movement, how far America has come on the issue of race, his views on President Donald Trump, and his emotional reaction to an audio exhibit at the Center for Civil and Human Rights. We the People: Voting Rights in the Courts Following ratification of the 15th Amendment in 1860, many states used poll taxes, literacy tests, and other means to prevent newly freed African Americans and other minorities from voting. A century later, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 provided a variety of ways for the federal government and the federal courts to ensure that the right to vote was not denied on the basis of race. Decode DC: Episode 203, What you Should Know about Trump’s Voter Fraud Commission President Trump believes he would have won the popular vote — if it weren’t for the 3 million people that voted illegally. Even though there’s no evidence to support his claim, he put together a commission to look into the issue. They’ve already been pretty active, asking for voter data from all 50 states. But what exactly is going on with this commission, and what can we expect? Predicting our Future: Episode 7, Can Online Voting Defeat the Broken Electoral College In the 2016 U.S. presidential election, a little over a...

CVP Field Trip to the Smithsonian Exhibit on American Democracy

The Campus Vote Project and the Fair Elections Legal Network teams visited the “American Democracy: A Great Leap of Faith” exhibit, a new addition to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History and we were all moved. The exhibit chronicles America’s transition from being under the rule of England to becoming an independent, democratic country, and showcases materials from various aspects of voting and elections, such as ballots, canvassing, and protests for the right to vote. There was also an interactive station asking visitors to select from a list of criteria concerning who should be able to vote and run for office. All citizens should be invested in and have access to voting and elections because our vote is our voice; it allows us to actively participate in the democratic process that shapes our country. The Smithsonian exhibit showed how our democracy has changed over the years and highlighted some of the struggles that got us to where we are today. Here are a few of the team’s thoughts. “There were little screens playing ads from back in the early days of TV that extended up onto the ceiling and into a “cloud” of noise and images with tons of different ads playing on so many more little screens. I thought it was a good visual representation of how “noisy” and crowded our political discourse is in the space of television advertisements.” -Jacob Conrack, FELN legal intern “The exhibit reminded me, though, that even the toughest barriers to voting rights are not insurmountable. If we keep fighting, we might one day actually land this Great Leap of Faith.” -Fahad...