Student Voting Resources
Colleges are a huge, under-appreciated, and invaluable resource to inspire and equip individuals to vote in their upcoming elections. Colleges and universities, no matter public or private, 2-year or 4-year, are not only influential to their students, but are typically huge employment agencies in the area as well as prominent and multi-faceted community establishments!
Below are some guidelines and resources for making your vote as a student count and for helping ensure others can recognize their right to vote as well!
Are you a first time voter?
- You are eligible to vote if—
- You are a U.S. citizen.
- You meet your State’s residency requirements.
- You are 18 years old. Some States allow 17-year-olds to vote in primaries and/or register to vote if they will be 18 before the general election.
- In the United States, individual states decide how and when to register voters, which has often led to confusion. Just 13 states allow voter registration on Election Day
You may feel that choosing a president or a senator just isn’t something that affects your life right now. You might not yet be struggling with issues like college debt or finding a full-time job. Adulthood brings many new challenges, like college, marriage, buying a house, paying for your own health insurance, and/or starting a business, all of which could radically change your perspective on political issues.
While you can’t predict who or where you’ll be in four years, you can be sure that the political officials elected into office and the policies they implement will impact your life in the coming months and years. Why not have a say? Speak up, make a choice, and take part in the election to protect your interests in your first few years in the real world. (Read more here)
“First-time voters are some of the most important Americans to show up on Election Day because they represent the newest voices making their wishes for government known. But learning about how the voting process works and getting registered can seem overwhelming – especially for students or other young people who already have enough on their plates.
Voting Resources and Toolkits
Below are resources that help explain and simplify what it takes to cast your vote and how you might encourage and organize others to do the same:
- The Democracy Commitment Guide to Informed Voting
- Campus Election Engagement Toolkit. Campus Election Engagement Project
- National Voter Registration Day Organizing Toolkit. Nationalvoterregistrationday.org.
- Voting Rights Toolkit for Civic Organizations. Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
- Protecting Voter Rights Toolkit. Democracy Initiative Education Fund
- Toolkit for Social Media Campaigns. Campus Election Engagement Project.
- Expanding Voter Registration in High Schools: A Toolkit for Local Leaders. The Center for Popular Democracy
Voting Affinity Organizations
- Black Voters Matter: This organization’s goal is to increase power in our communities. They help development infrastructure where little/none exists. This includes staff training, candidate development and network development. We advocate for policies to expand voting rights/access, including expanded early voting, resisting voter ID, re-entry restoration of rights and strengthening the Voting Rights Act. We also advocate for policies that intersect with race, gender, economic and other aspects of equity.
- Students Learn Students Vote Coalition: SLSVC is an organization that offers campus checklists, sample campus voting plans, the #VoteTogether Initiative, the ALLIn Campus Democracy Challenge Resource Hub, and more!
- Native American Voting Rights. Native American Rights Fund. Protecting voting rights and fostering voter engagement in Native communities nationwide.
- ALLIn Campus Democracy Challenge: The All IN Campus Democracy Challenge is a national awards program that recognizes colleges and universities for their commitment to increasing student voting rates.
- Voto Latino: Voto Latino is a pioneering civic media organization that seeks to transform America by recognizing Latinos’ innate leadership.
- Rock the Vote: Rock the Vote is a nonpartisan nonprofit dedicated to building the political power of young people. We’ve registered and turned out millions of young voters on campuses, in communities, and online. We’ve successfully fought for — and defended — voting rights and increased access to democracy. We’ve raised awareness and campaigned for issues that impact the lives of young people. We’ve pioneered innovative ways to make registration and voting work for our generation, and built open-source technology to empower other organizations, too. View our 2016 Impact Report here.
- Asian & Pacific Islander American Vote: APIAVote envisions a world that is inclusive, fair, and collaborative, and where Asian Americans and Pacific Islander communities are self-determined, empowered, and engaged.
- Vote by Design: Vote by Design takes a design-thinking and student-centered approach to building citizen agency and voter confidence. Our interactive, non-partisan curriculum allows educators, civic organizers, and community leaders to help NextGen voters find clarity on what leadership qualities are most important to them in a U.S. President — and why.
- Campus Election Engagement Project: Campus Election Engagement Project (CEEP) is a national nonpartisan project that helps administrators, faculty, staff, and student leaders at America’s colleges and universities engage students in federal, state, and local elections. We work with stakeholders throughout our more than 400 partner campuses to engage students in democracy. We provide personalized coaching, guiding schools on how to use our resources and navigate students through ever-changing barriers to voting.
- League of Women Voters: The League of Women Voters of the United States encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.They work to register voters and provide voters with election information through voter guides as well as candidate forums and debates.
- Ask Every Student: A project of the National Resource Consortium on Full Student Participation, Ask Every Student seeks to create research-backed processes, systems, and tools to answer that question. We’ve found that the key to reaching full student voter participation comes down to accessing a few minutes of individualized focus from every student on campus to prepare them to confidently navigate the democratic process. The National Resource Consortium is a project of NASPA, NASPA LEAD Initiative, Fair Election Center and other partners
- TurboVote : The TurboVote Challenge is a long-term, nonpartisan alliance of America’s leading brands who are committed to strengthening our democracy. Our goal: help America reach 80 percent voter turnout by 2024. By encouraging their employees, customers, and communities to participate in all elections, TurboVote Challenge members make up a coalition of leaders who are reinventing civic engagement in the United States.
- Voting Writes: Voting Writes offers resources for infusing college composition classes with civic education. The believe Incorporating civic education will engage and empower students with contemporary topics; improve reading, writing, researching, and critical thinking; cultivate digital literacy; promote civil discourse; and build good citizens.