Campus Vote Project is a project of Fair Elections Center

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Taking action to defend important policies that advance voting and push back on legislation or initiatives that limit access to the polls is critical to encourage a thriving democracy. Our calls-to-action ask students to take a step beyond voting to influence their democracy.

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Fair Election Center’s Campus Vote Project, Democracy North Carolina, and Common Cause North Carolina sent the letter below updating colleges and universities about recent changes in North Carolina law that impact the ability of students to exercise their right to vote and several urgent associated deadlines. One of the forms of voter ID under a new photo ID law (SB 824) is student ID cards issued by community colleges and public and private colleges and universities in North Carolina.

The letter outlines the additional requirements institution’s must meet for their student IDs to be approved by the State Board of Elections to be used as voter ID and critical deadlines.

The State Board of Elections is supposed to produce temporary regulations to implement the approval process of student IDs as voter ID by February 1, 2019 and is supposed to approve student IDs acceptable as voter ID for the 2019 and 2020 elections on March 15, 2019.

For more information please read the letter below and if you have questions contact Campus Vote Project at info@campusvoteproject.org.

Fair Elections Center’s Campus Vote Project works with colleges and universities across North Carolina to empower students with information they need to register and vote. We can say unequivocally that the recently passed strict, photo voter ID S.B. 824 is bad for student voters and Governor Cooper should veto the bill.

 

S.B. 824 is a legislative smoke screen that on paper includes student IDs from North Carolina’s public, private, and community colleges and universities, however, it also enacts a by-institution approval process intentionally designed and implemented in ways to make sure that no institution’s student IDs will actually be approved for use as voter ID.  CVP’s National Director Mike Burns noted, “North Carolina’s citizens elected a new legislature in November and current legislators should stop undermining our democracy and allow a full and considered debate in the new year on how to best implement voter ID in North Carolina. There is no rational justification for this lame duck legislature to jam through such a flawed bill and then force the State Board of Elections to certify which student IDs can be used as voter ID 600 days before the 2020 general election.”

 

You can read CVP’s full letter urging Gov. Cooper to veto S.B. 824

Minnesota Colleges and Universities are mandated to provide students voter registration forms, but are they? Some campuses confused by separate state mandate, despite exclusion from federal requirement.

With the fall term underway and the 2018 midterms rapidly approaching the Fair Elections Center’s Campus Vote Project contacted colleges and universities across Minnesota this week to reminder them of the state requirement that all postsecondary institutions “provide voter registration forms to each student as early as possible in the fall quarter” and ““[i]nstitutions shall consult with their campus student government in determining the most effective means of distributing the forms and in seeking to facilitate election day registration of students…”

These requirements in Minnesota Statute §201.1611 are separate from a similar federal requirement contained in the Higher Education Act, which Minnesota is excluded from due to the fact that Minnesota allows for Election Day registration as well.  Campus Vote Project participated in the Democracy in Action Summit hosted at Minneapolis College last month and heard from participants that they were not aware of their institution complying with Minnesota Statute §201.1611, and that some institutions may be confusing it with a separate federal statute that Minnesota campuses are exempt from.  For example, see this post from Normandale Community College about the federal statute but failing to mention the state requirement to distribute voter registration forms – www.normandale.edu/directory/disclosures/voter-registration

“Thanks to the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement we know that nearly 84% of students at Minnesota institutions that were registered to vote did so in 2016, yet Minnesota students are registered at a rate lower then that national average” said Mike Burns the National Director for Campus Vote Project. While Election Day registration is a great fail safe, it can lead to very long wait times if everyone needs to register or update their registration prior to voting, this is especially true in student-heavy precincts since they are a population that change address’ frequent. “Given all this information we knew we needed to reach colleges and universities and educate them about their duty to fulfill the civic mission of higher education and also comply with Minnesota Statute §201.1611 and assist students with voter registration.”

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