Is your campus voter friendly or are they contributing to student voter suppression? Remember – as a student you have the power to influence your administration to make voting easier and more fun – just like the founding fathers intended. Take a look at the check list below to see how your school stacks up! Then schedule a meeting with an administrator and advocate to make voting on campus more accessible.
- Polling Place on Campus
Having a polling place on campus, especially for larger colleges and universities, is pretty common. The more convenient the polling place is for busy students who do not always have access to reliable transportation the better.
- Free Transportation to Polling Place
Wherever the closest polling place on campus is, it should be accessible. Many schools commandeer the campus shuttles on Election Day and use them to transport students to and from the polls.
- Time Off to Vote
Voting, depending on the number of machines in a polling place, can take hours. Because many students work, volunteer and have class all in one day – it can be difficult to find time to vote. First ask your administration, then your department heads and finally individual professors if they will cancel classes on November 8th so that students can participate in democracy!
- Easily Accessible Voting Information
Your school should have both a landing page on the website and campus wide emails with information regarding early and absentee voting, registration and voter ID requirements and polling place locations.
- Easily Accessible Registration
Your college is obligated by the Higher Education Act to “make a good faith effort to distribute a mail voter registration from[sic], requested and received from the State to each student enrolled in a degree or certificate program and physically in attendance at the institution, and to make such forms widely available to students at the institution.” Some schools register the entire freshmen class, some integrate registration into student portals while others email online registration materials to students. Find out what your schools is doing and how they could improve their process.
- Voting Data
Find out if your school signed up for the The National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE) through Tufts University. The study provides valuable, campus specific data on voting and registration that can provide benchmarks for future organizing.