Nonprofit Vote has put together some outstanding posters encouraging people to vote, and they would make a great addition to public spaces and announcement boards on your campus. There's less than a week to go before Election Day, but these eye-catching, attention-grabbing posters are an excellent way to make sure students with a lot of other commitments remember to exercise their right to vote and make their voices heard. They've also got information in English and Spanish directing people to resources to help them vote, which could prove especially helpful in states with strict voter identification laws and areas hard-hit by Hurricane Sandy. You can peruse and download the posters right here; scroll down to see all the designs.
If it's Google, you know it's good, and their Politics and Elections page now includes a tool that gives voters their polling place and the major items on their ballot; all they have to do is type in their address. There are plenty of great digital voting programs out there, as you surely know if you get our updates, but the combination of speed, simplicity and a respected brand name makes this a great one to recommend to voters who just need to quickly and efficiently get their basic voting info. Check it out!
These life-sized "Vote Your Choice" posters (in two designs) are among the great things going on at Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio. For more details on what Wittenberg is doing - along with great programs from schools across Ohio - check out the Ohio Campus Compact web site here.
Voices of students from Upper Iowa University in Fayette, Iowa:
“Voting is so important for everyone, whether you are a senior citizen or a senior in college. It is a great way to get involved and let your voice be heard. The sorority I am involved with, Phi Beta Delta, and our brother fraternity, Alpha Nu Omega, held a voter registration drive through the month of September and into October. We had about 50 students register to vote, which was great to see. Registering to vote is just part of the voting process. The school does a great job giving the students an opportunity to learn about the candidates and also providing early voting around campus. It has been a great experience helping students get more involved in the 2012 elections “
~Shay Enriquez, Senior
"In efforts to raise awareness of the upcoming election and to encourage students to vote we have been working very hard in putting on Debate Watching Parties. Our biggest hope was to get people involved and interested in the election. For most of these students this is their first time voting and we hope that it is an enjoyable experience for them. It is important that they know how much their vote counts and that using the voice that we are fortunate enough to have is a great honor."
~Lyndsay Westgaard, Senior
“I find it extremely encouraging that these leaders appreciated the impact and importance of voting enough that they committed time and resources to raise awareness among their peers to vote. For many on this campus, this will be the first time they get to exercise their right to vote. Having opportunities to discuss candidates, their positions and how that gels with their own personally beliefs and values was pertinent, fun and necessary. Students were able to support their candidates, defend positions and participate in safe, healthy dialogue. Through this, students were able to experience how difficult it often is to reach a position on any issue that is supported by all.”
~Cody Jones, Coordinator of Civic Engagement
Deadlines for absentee ballot applications are coming up in the next few days for a lot of states, so students who are at school in a state other than the one they're registered in, or who attend school far from their voting precinct, should ensure they'll have the chance to make their voice heard by voting long-distance. That's where our friends at Long Distance Voter come in: They've got all the information that absentee voters will need, including state-by-state deadlines for absentee ballot requests and absentee voting, registration verification for each state, and comprehensive guides to getting your absentee ballot and using it no matter where you live. If you know students who plan to vote absentee but may not have made all the arrangements yet, make sure they take a quick trip to LongDistanceVoter.org so they can be a part of the process wherever they vote. And if you work with campuses that have a lot of students from other states, distribute links to Long Distance Voter as widely as you can, through listserv messages, campus-wide texts and emails from campus IT departments, and even posters and tableslips with QR codes.
One of the innovative ideas we're promoting for the final two weeks before the election is getting information out to students via QR codes like the one to the left, for our Voter Education Resources page. People can scan these codes with their smartphones to go straight to the sites you're promoting. You can use QR codes on posters and other media, but one great way to catch students' attention while they've got some spare time is with tabletop slips in the campus cafeteria. Feel free to adapt these templates that our Virginia staff developed, and you can make your own QR codes for free right here. A lot of students are intimidated from voting because they feel like they don't know enough about the issues: They're learning so much in their classes that they're starting to realize how little they know about the things they don't spend several hours a week studying. That's why it's so important to give them convenient access to comprehensive, nonpartisan guides to major races, such as our breakdown of the presidential candidates' stands on the issues. You can also direct students to resources that will allow them to protect their voting rights, such as Election Protection or, for campuses with a lot of students from other states, the absentee voting experts at Long Distance Voter!
Public Agenda has put out six excellent, detailed “Citizens’ Solutions Guides” covering important public policy issue areas: Energy, Education, Health Care, Immigration, the Federal Budget, and Jobs and the Economy. These guides include often-overlooked facts and new angles to get voters thinking. They’re also a great complement to the four original CEEP discussion guides on Health Care, Education, Immigration and the Economy, and the two additional guides on Student Debt and College-Graduate Unemployment: The CEEP guides provide an introduction to the issues and great advice on starting inclusive campus conversations, while the Citizens’ Solutions Guides get more in-depth about data and policy to help provide background for the most involved students. Check them all out and use them to jumpstart helpful discussions on campuses throughout your state!
CEEP staff have put together two great new Dialogue Guides, one on student debt and one on unemployment among college graduates, to complement our four other guides on health care, education, immigration and the economy. Use them to get the discussion going on your campus and your partners' campuses!
This isn't about campus organizing - but it is about how important exercising our right to vote is. The caption:
"My grandfather is proud of having voted in every single presidential election since he was awarded his citizenship in order to serve in WWII. Here he is, 93 years old and on his deathbed, with my aunt helping him fill out one last ballot."
Are politics getting worse? Patriocracy is a non-partisan examination of Washington DC dysfunction. PATRIOCRACY is a timely film that seeks to answer the questions: How bad is it in Washington? Has the political environment always been this angry, this gridlocked, this broken? And what can we do about it?