#STUDENTVOTE STARTER PACK
Starter Student Saúl
I have not yet received much support and/or funding from my institution to help me with my efforts. I really want connections, support, and resources to get started so I don’t have to reinvent the wheel.
You might relate to me if you are a student leader, if you have a fellowship with a nonprofit, or are currently exploring a similar path.
Familiarize yourself with the SLSV Checklist!
The SLSV Checklist is a four-step process for institutionalizing student voting engagement on college campuses. We start with a simple premise grounded in trust, not transaction: local leaders who know their campus best, who are committed to their specific place, and who have access to local social networks are best positioned and most culturally equipped to drive dramatic and sustainable increases in voter participation, learning, and growth over time.
Let’s double-check. You might not be the first person on your campus to do this!
Research what is possibly already happening on your campus: There may be other students, staff or faculty on your campus who are also working to increase voting and democratic engagement.
Look for a campus student voting coalition: Does your institution have a campus voting coalition? Check to see if a center or department on campus leads the coalition as an initiative or if there’s a registered student organization leading the work.
See if you are enrolled in NSLVE (The National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement): If your campus has enrolled in the NSLVE in the past, there is a trove of student voting data available to help you understand your campus’ voting landscape better. Check NSLVE’s list of participating campuses to see if your campus already participates in NSLVE.
Look for your plan: A good place to start is the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge’s website to see if your campus is part of the Challenge and if it has a public campus action plan. You might even find your school’s NSLVE reports there.
Educate yourself on the voting laws and rules in your state!
Check out the Campus Vote Project’s Student Voting Guides. You can keep this handy to learn more about the voting laws in your state, but they are also helpful if you need to reference another state for your fellow students who come from out-of-state.
Voter ID laws in particular can be confusing. Every state has different rules, and the rules can differ depending on voting method. For college students, things can get even more complicated. Clear, accurate, and easily available voter ID messaging is essential to ensuring students have what they need to cast their ballots. Check out this resource we made with VoteRiders to find a student voter ID landing page, voter ID info cards, and a communications toolkit!
Participate in Civic Holidays!
Beside Election Day, these holidays are some of the most visible and exciting opportunities to celebrate voting on campus. The holidays we are talking about are:
You can learn more about these holidays by checking out the CivicHolidays.org website. Also, we highly recommend checking out Campus Takeover: an initiative that focuses on supporting campuses celebrating Civic Holidays! Joining Campus Takeover gives you access to specific toolkits, sample materials, and funding to support your on-campus event!
Build your organizing and mobilizing skills!
Check out the Ask Every Student Toolkit, which is a comprehensive and growing resource of strategies, tools, and tactics that are designed to assist campus leaders in implementing full student voter registration strategies on their campuses. Not sure where to start? Fill out the First Step Form to see where you should focus your efforts.
The Ask Every Student Academy is a free, self-paced, online course built for students who want to engage their peers in nonpartisan voter registration and civic action. In 1-2 hours, you will learn about why student organizing matters, what the voter registration and voting process looks like, and how to mobilize students to get involved on your campus.
Learn about digital tools and guides!
Ask Every Student’s Navigating Civic Technology and Digital Voter Guides provides a breakdown of voter assistance portals, voting guides, and ballot guides you can use in your organizing.
StudentPIRGs’ Digital Civic Engagement Toolkit compiles best practices to keep students engaged and involved in voter registration and mobilization virtually.
Connect with your fellow students!
Join the Student Voting Network! Through a Slack and monthly calls, the SVN connects students across the country to learn from each other & dismantle barriers to voting together. All students doing voting or democratic engagement work – especially those just getting started – are invited to join.
Do these organizations have chapters on your campus?
They may also have a voting campaign going on!
Identify organizations in your community that can support you!
This could be your local board of elections, local League of Women Voters chapter, or other community-based organizations that focus on voter engagement.
Identify on-campus partners that could be part of a mutually beneficial collaboration!
This could be:
- Student Government Association
- Campus Affinity Groups (e.g. Black Student Union, Native American Student Association, etc.)
- Residence Halls
- Student life/activities office
- Center for leadership and civic engagement
Check out the SLSV Coalition Partner Directory!
Check out this navigation tool that shows what nonprofit organizations may be working on your campus, and who else in your area may be doing similar work. Use filters to find the right partners for you!
Check out the Voter Registration Guides from the Fair Elections Center for information unique to your state!
Ask Every Student offers a range of resources that can help you plan and execute every step of a voter registration drive:
Join the SLSV Coalition’s listserv! We are always pushing out funding opportunities from the network when they become available. Examples of funding opportunities we have offered or highlighted in the past were one-time grants, Ask Every Student implementation grants, and rapid response grants. Join the Coalition here!
Find someone (a professor or staff member) on your campus who can help you get a meeting with a campus administrator. Student life offices can be especially helpful for this! Create a student organization if there isn’t one already, and have your advisor help, or partner with student government. Having a student organization will help you make more impact. Check out ALL IN’s Student Voting Group Report for inspiration on ways to get started.