CALPIRG, the California New Americans Vote Campaign, and the University of California Student Association are coming together this Fall to ask students across the San Diego area to register to vote online. These groups are appearing on San Diego campuses and neighborhoods with their newly developed online registration tool that is linked to the California Secretary of State’s database.
During a press conference this week held at UCSD, Annie Cho described the website that will serve as the lynchpin of the project, CaliforniaStudentVote.org. The website is user friendly and accessible on a PC, tablet, or phone, allowing students to register as easily as technically possible. The tool will be available for student organizations running non-partisan voter registration drives on their campuses.
Cho stated, “our democracy depends on citizen participation, and online voter registration makes this simple.” For students who move often or are unregistered, they are left out of the democratic process. To address the problem, CALPIRG will be on campuses and in classrooms presenting the site to students and asking them to register prior to the October 22 deadline.
Student response has been high as, Associated Students Vice President for External Affairs Olamide Modupeoluwa Noah, pointed to the innovative mechanism’s availability in California contrasted with voter suppression occurring in other states. The availability is supported by ease of use that would allow a student to register from a coffee shop, beach, or in bed. She argued that the excuses for not registering wane with the appearance of online tools similar to this.
The California New Americans Vote Campaign plans to use the tool on all San Diego college campuses and in Latino neighborhoods where voter registration is often low. Their San Diego effort is a portion of a statewide program to increase registration and participation in Latino and Hispano communities, especially among new citizens.
Students who register to vote online with the tool will receive election updates as the election nears, along with information on how to get involved in get-out-the-vote campaigns on their campuses.
The target demographic of the campaign, Latinos and young voters, tend to self-identify as independent. In less than one week the group has register over 1,500 students on the UCSD campus and will continue to register students until the October 22 deadline.