California Student Vote is a project of the Student PIRGs’ New Voters Project, which is America’s oldest and largest field-based nonpartisan youth voter mobilization program. The Student PIRGs’ New Voters Project, a 501(c)(3) organization with 4945(f) status, has run peer-to-peer young voter mobilization drives to turn out the youth vote on college campuses for more than 25 years. The New Voter’s Project does not endorse, either explicitly or implicitly, a political candidate or political party for elected office. Our goal is to engage as many students as possible in each and every election cycle in order that our generation be represented in the political process, regardless of ideology or political affiliation.
The Student PIRGs have been pioneers in youth voter registration and mobilization efforts. In 1983, the PIRGs launched the National Student Campaign for Voter Registration, the nation’s first major youth mobilization effort since 18 years olds received the franchise in 1972. This initial effort helped register nearly one million students to vote throughout the 1980s. In 1994, working with Rock the Vote, Campus Green Vote and Green Corps, the PIRGs launched the Youth Vote Coalition. The coalition eventually grew to include more than 100 organizations, helped to register well over a million voters through the participating organizations, and helped to ensure coordination and collaboration within the youth civic engagement community.
CALPIRG Education Fund: With public debate around important issues often dominated by special interests pursuing their own narrow agendas, CALPIRG Education Fund offers an independent voice that works on behalf of the public interest. We investigate problems, craft solutions, educate the public, and offer meaningful opportunities for civic participation. We aim to serve all people of California. CALPIRG Education Fund has several decades of experience working to improve civic participation in our democracy, through both policy development and advocacy as well as direct outreach and engagement efforts.
UC Student Association: Founded by students in 1971, the University of California Student Association (UCSA) is the official voice of over 220,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students at all ten UC campuses. UCSA’s board of directors is made up of leadership from the Associated Students (undergraduate student government) and Graduate Student Associations at each member campus. UCSA has a history of building broad campus coalitions to coordinate voter registration and GOTV efforts. In 2010, we helped over 40,000 students get registered to vote and in 2008 they helped more than 42,000 UC students get registered.
The California State Student Association (CSSA) is a non-partisan advocacy organization governed by a student Board of Directors composed of the officially recognized representatives of each of the 23 CSU campuses. Established in 1958 by student leaders, CSSA provides a collective voice for CSU students at the system-wide level and to the state and federal government. CSSA is the official voice of the over 470,000 CSU students.
Why Use CAStudentVote.org
If you’re a campus administrator that is looking into voter registration tools for your school’s civic engagement efforts, here’s why you should use StudentVote.org:
It works. Both the Student PIRGs and Rock the Vote have been using the same technology for ten years and over 7 million people have completed a voter registration form without difficulty. We’ve found that 2/3 of people who complete the online registration form end up on the voting rolls.
It is easy. For states with online voter registration, California StudentVote links directly to the Secretary of State office and helps them complete the form. For all other states, students can use the California StudentVote tool to complete a voter registration form online. They are then given a PDF of their completed form to print out and mail in. A copy of their form is also emailed to them so that they can print it out later if they prefer.
Email reminders increase the likelihood of registering. Students get weekly email reminders until they click a button telling us they mailed in the form. Our experiments have proven this increases the mail-in rate.
Tell-a-friend feature creates a multiplier effect. Registrants get the option to pass the tool onto a friend. Students are more likely to register and vote when asked by a friend. Using the tool creates a multiplier effect that increases your campus registration rates.
A powerful tool for increasing voter turnout. Because the tool compiles contact information of students who register, it enables campuses to follow up with person-to-person voting reminders before Election Day through phone calls, canvassing and text messaging. Over a decade of research by social scientists has conclusively found that these techniques increase youth voter turnout. The tool does not compile private contact information, such as drivers’ license numbers, and only compiles information in states where legally permitted.
It’s secure. Personal information collected through the tool is held on a secure server. Sensitive information is used to populate the voter registration form, and is immediately discarded. Non Sensitive data is available to partners through our secure dashboard. Rock the Vote is committed to preserving an applicant’s privacy; and, as stated in our security and privacy statements, all personal identifying data and other unique identifiers submitted in the process of registering to vote are used to produce the voter registration form for the user to send to his/her local or state election officials. If a state-issued identification number or Social Security number is provided, it is used solely for the production of a voter registration form.
You can register to vote in over 13 languages including Spanish.
Interested in spreading the word about voting through Facebook, Twitter, and more? Pledge to Vote and find out ways to volunteer, intern, and help other students turn out to vote!