Spring 2018 Roundup: 5 Snapshots of Vote Everywhere’s Semester
Vote Everywhere’s Spring 2018 semester is in the books! It started with a bang by welcoming six new campus partners, expanding our network to 54 campus partners in 23 states and Washington, D.C., and concluded in the bittersweet excitement of sending off 42 transferring or graduating Ambassadors to their next steps.
Spring 2018 was characterized by preparing for Fall 2018 and the all-important midterm elections: Our Vote Everywhere teams institutionalized voter registration on their campuses, made strides toward removing voting impediments, secured support from campus administrators and community partners, and provided civic education and engagement opportunities.
In short, Vote Everywhere Ambassadors committed over 9,000 hours to plan and host 229 events that lay the foundation for a successful Fall 2018 semester, sure to be driven by a swell of GOTV efforts. As they do year-round, our passionate Vote Everywhere campus teams also registered voters—1,920, in fact.
Curious to know even more about Vote Everywhere’s semester? Here are 5 snapshots that reflect the larger Spring 2018 landscape:
- Voter Registration and Institutionalization
In addition to registering voters 24/7/365, our Ambassadors made progress toward another promising practice of the Vote Everywhere program—to institutionalize voter registration into preexisting campus activities or processes, like move-in day and new-student orientation.
- Alabama A&M University registered hundreds of students by institutionalizing voter registration into first-year orientation courses, a practice they expect to continue in the future.
- University of Michigan – Ann Arbor registered a whopping 730 voters, the most of any campus this semester!
- University of San Francisco hit a milestone in Spring 2018—they registered their 1,000th voter!
- Civic Education
Vote Everywhere Ambassadors know there’s more to civic engagement than voter registration and voting and aim to engage their peers in a variety of civic education opportunities.
- East Carolina University organized a series of forums, titled Politics in Our Space, where students discussed issues like gun control, healthcare, and immigration.
- Elon University hosted an Active Citizen series, in which they invited County Commissioner Bob Byrd and North Carolina State Representative Stephen Ross to participate in conversations with students.
- Kutztown University and Towson University tabled with a Wheel of Wokeness, a game first created by the Towson University team that challenges students on their current events knowledge.
- Voter Impediment Removal
Many state laws and campus practices make it more difficult for students to vote, but our Vote Everywhere campus teams are striving to change that and make voting accessibility widespread.
- Georgia State University and Louisiana State University both acquired TurboVote, an online voter registration assistance service, which will help them to maximize their voter registration reach throughout their large student populations.
- University of Central Arkansas Ambassadors worked within a campus-wide coalition to reinstate a polling place on their campus.
- University of Wisconsin – Madison campus team expanded the university’s capacity to print voter IDs for all students.
- Outreach and Conference Participation
On top of being civic leaders on their own campuses, our Ambassadors also participate in community events, national conferences, and engage with Vote Everywhere staff and other partners.
- East Carolina University and Western Carolina University Ambassadors rallied at the Moral March in Raleigh, North Carolina, with AGF President David Goodman and Vote Everywhere staff.
- University of Dayton not only hosted the IMPACT National Conference in Dayton, Ohio, but the campus team also spoke on a panel with Vote Everywhere staff.
- Elon University, Fairleigh Dickinson University – Metropolitan, Louisiana State University, Ramapo College, Rutgers University, Tougaloo College, University of Alabama, and University of Dayton all welcomed AGF and Vote Everywhere staff during visits to their campuses!
- Thought Leadership
An energized and bright bunch, our Ambassadors advocate for issues that expand voting accessibility and raise issues that interest their peers and lead them to the polls.
- Georgia State University Ambassador Evan Malbrough writes about restoring voting rights in “Redefining Constituency for Formerly Incarcerated Voters.”
- Miami Dade College – North, University of Chicago, and University of Dayton Ambassadors contributed their voices to “Vote Everywhere Ambassadors Discuss Youth Activism Around Gun Reform.”
- Spelman College Ambassador Skylar Mitchell reflects on her campus’ collective experience after the 2016 Presidential Election and the way forward in “Our Past as Prologue: Building a More Inclusive and Equitable World.”
While the Spring 2018 semester may be over, Vote Everywhere Ambassadors never stop working toward increasing voter registration, turnout, and accessibility on their campuses. Now, they’re gearing up to attend our fourth annual National Civic Leadership Training Summit and to develop their skills as civic leaders even further. With midterm elections on the horizon, our campus teams will be poised and ready to get out the vote!
About The Author
Margaret Sasser is Vote Everywhere’s Program Development and Evaluation Manager. Margaret is passionate about civil rights issues and helping students to become active and engaged members of their communities.