Strengthening Student Voices Through Partnerships

Over the last six months the University of San Francisco (USF), one of The Andrew Goodman Foundation’s (AGF) 54 Vote Everywhere (VE) campus partners, has registered over 1,000 new voters. Their secret? Utilizing key partnerships to help them achieve their goals.

USF joined Vote Everywhere in time for the Fall 2017 semester. The Ambassadors Abree Dominguez and Kiana Martinez hit the ground running by attending the 2017 National Civic Leadership Training Summit before heading back to campus to strategize with their Campus Champions David Donahue and Angie Vuong about their 2017-2018 plans.

Under the newly formed “USF Votes,” the Ambassadors have been working tirelessly to educate and engage their peers on campus. However, the team recognized that in order to engage all USF students, the school had to create an online space for voter engagement as well.

Enter TurboVote. By partnering with the online tool, USF was able to help students register to vote online, request absentee ballots, and sign up for election reminders all in one convenient location. Their impressive voter registration numbers earned them a spot on TurboVote’s top 10 colleges and universities in the country running student voter registration drives.

By making voting “a simple, seamless experience for all Americans,” TurboVote hopes the United States will reach a national voter turnout rate of 80% by 2024. They partner with organizations like AGF, with a boots-on-the-ground presence on college and university campuses, to make their vision a reality among young voters.

“AGF has really motivated student Ambassadors and staff dedicated to doing this work of elevating voter engagement on campus. TurboVote is a tool that enhances their existing efforts,” says TurboVote Campus Outreach Lead Anjelica Smith.

In addition to the University of San Francisco, approximately 1/3 of all Vote Everywhere campus partners currently utilize TurboVote to enhance their voter engagement activities, including Elon University, Georgetown University, University of Chicago, Spelman College, and Towson University. Vote Everywhere Program Manager Kevon Haughton, who works with partners to enhance the VE program’s effectiveness thinks the partnership makes sense. “The AGF and TurboVote share a common vision of participatory democracy, that’s why partnering to support colleges and universities around the country with creating a civic-minded campus culture makes sense.”

As 2018 midterm elections quickly approach, it is imperative that students have access to effective voter registration and education programs. Haughton says the AGF partnership with TurboVote creates that space, “In order for democracy to flourish everyone needs a place at the table. We are excited to continue working with TurboVote to inspire young voters to get involved and make their voice heard.”

About the Author

Kevin Hurtado is the Communications and Development Associate at The Andrew Goodman Foundation. He graduated from Ramapo College of New Jersey with a Bachelor’s in International Studies and a minor in Human Rights and Genocide. Previously, Kevin worked as an Executive Assistant and Office Manager at Newark Charter School Fund, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting educational equity in the city of Newark.