for students

So you want to help students on your campus
get #VOTEREADY?

Become a voting expert... it's not as hard as you think

UNDERSTAND THE VOTER RULES & LAWS IN YOUR STATE

Voting rules are different in every state. You don’t have to know all of the rules off the top of your head. These voting guides are a great resource to consult as you begin your student voting outreach, because these websites consolidate all of the information students need to vote. 

For an in-depth look at each of these tools, click here. 

CHOOSE A TOOL TO HELP REGISTER OTHERS TO VOTE

There are a lot of voter registration tools, and you can use whichever one works best for your campus. By asking voters to enter their information into an online form, interactive portals walk students through the voting process step-by-step. Many campuses may have a tool they already use and have a contract with. If your campus doesn’t already have a voter registration tool, here are a few that we recommend:

All of these tools have a free option, but if you want to put your campus’ branding on them and get the back-end data, you can get a paid version. 

We suggest that you limit the variety of resources that you promote in order to keep everything as simple and consistent as possible for students. 

For an in-depth look at each of these tools, click here. 

Now that you have the tools,
how do you actually reach people?

build your organizing skills

Now that you have all the tools you may need to register to vote, the next step is registering your friends. In a digital world, relational organizing is key.

Relational organizing is the ability to mobilize those in your community through personal relationships. People listen to their friends more than anyone, so it’s up to you to mobilize them! A volunteer reaching out to someone they already know is more effective than a volunteer reaching out to strangers. 

Relational organizing can be done anywhere you communicate with people – from Instagram DMs, to GroupMe, to plain texting – the possibilities are endless. If you create a script for you and your volunteers, it’ll be super simple. Here are some resources that make that easy for you: 

There are plenty of ways to do relational organizing. Find the method that works best for you & your relationships, and is the most effective for your networks. And if you grow a team of volunteers, you’ll be able to grow the network of people you reach even further!

For an in-depth look at each of these tools, click here. 

SUPPORT YOUR CAMPUS VOTER ENGAGEMENT EFFORTS

It’s likely that your campus is already doing democratic engagement work that you can tap into. Check out the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge to see if your campus is ALL IN, whether they have a current or previous plan, and whether your campus NSLVE report is publicly available. If they have created an on-campus voting coalition, ask if you can join!

You can also join the +1 the Polls Initiative, to place or protect a polling place on your campus, or see if your campus is in  Ask Every Student, a program that supports institutionalizing voter registration outreach on your campus.

expand your toolbox

You can do this work with just the above digital tools. But, if you want some guidance and recommendations, expand your toolbox by learning about organizing best practices.

As you prepare to have conversations with students on your campus, be sure to reference the following resources:

For an in-depth look at each of these tools, click here. 
 

utilize social media

Another super easy way to do relational organizing is by mobilizing your social media networks. Instagram stories and Twitter make it really easy to share bite-sized bits of information without bombarding the people in your life. Like with texting, people are more receptive to the information they see if it comes from someone they trust, rather than through an ad.

Follow national and local groups & uplift their content to your networks. You can follow us on all platforms (@slsvcoalition) and find a lot of local and national partners there. 

If you have specific ideas or messages you want to share, it’s easy to create your own content using local election information. Try websites like Canva to create visually appealing graphics to catch people’s attention. Use platforms like TikTok & Twitter to reach even more people. 

OKAY, SO WHAT'S NEXT?

The #VoteReady Mobilizations are meant to be entryways to your relational and community outreach. The Mobilizations provide support, resources and community as you celebrate civic holidays. 

The Mobilizations are broken down into three components – registration, education, and turnout. Sign up for and participate in all three as a part of a well-rounded voter engagement strategy. 

Becoming a poll worker is one of the best ways to keep polling locations open and working, allowing for social distancing and quick voting. By being a poll worker you will contribute to a safe and fair election. 

Polling places on or near college and university campuses are often the first to be on the chopping block. Student participation as poll workers could help keep convenient polling locations on or near your campus making voting easier for students, faculty, and community members. 

Poll working is fun, simple, and a front seat to the democratic process. And, in many states, poll workers have the opportunity to be paid!