[COMM-ORG] college voter registration

Discussion list for COMM-ORG colist at comm-org.wisc.edu
Fri Sep 24 11:26:20 CDT 2010


  [ed:  because of the frequent crossover between community organizing 
and voter registration, this seems appropriate for the list.]

From: Doug Hess <dougrhess at gmail.com>



With voter registration deadlines approaching rapidly, some campus 
organizers may wish to take advantage of a little known federal 
requirement that colleges and universities provide students with voter 
registration applications. The requirement can be seen on this link to 
the US Code, scroll down to (a)(23): 
http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode20/usc_sec_20_00001094----000-.html  
In theory, schools that do not make an effort to do so could lose their 
federal funding (!). An op-ed essay that a friend and I wrote ran in the 
Des Moines Register last week: 
http://www.desmoinesregister.com/article/20100916/OPINION01/9160335/Guest-column-Universities-have-an-obligation-to-help-students-register-to-vote 


The reauthorized 2008 Act allows schools to meet this requirement by 
sending an email, if solely about voter registration, to each student 
with a link to voter registration applications (ideally the state form 
and the national form which is available at www.eac.gov).

An ideal email campaign would include an email sent twice (once two 
weeks and other a few days before the deadline), and campus groups 
should still organize other voter registration activities, but that this 
is a federal mandate should give groups a good angle on getting 
administration assistance. A list of state deadlines is available at: 
http://www.declareyourself.com/ . Some additional ideas for campus 
groups and administrators are available at 
http://www.yourvoteyourvoice.org/ .

-Doug



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