NAICU Washington Update

Voter Registration Time Again for Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi

June 06, 2007

Three states will have gubernatorial elections this fall:  Kentucky, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Federal law requires that the colleges and universities in these states make a good-faith effort to distribute state voter registration forms to each degree-seeking or certificate-seeking student who attends classes on campus.

The provision which became law as part of the 1998 Higher Education Act, applies to both federal and gubernatorial elections. For institutions in these three states, it's time to develop plans for distributing the forms to students - which may require the institutions request sufficient forms for their students at least 120 days prior to the state's voter registration deadline.

Detailed election calendars for each of the three states are available on line at:

The state must deliver the forms to the school 60 days prior to the registration cut-off date. (If they don't, you no longer have to fulfill the mandate.) Once you receive the forms, distribution is up to you. However, if your institution assigns each student an e-mail address, you may be able to take advantage of an electronic option for compliance. Please consult your school's legal counsel.

Under electronic systems, you may provide an electronic version of the form to each student. Should you pursue this option this fall, arrange for your student activities or registrar's office (or whatever office handles voter registration on your campus) to e-mail all of your students the electronic form acceptable in your state.

NAICU will follow up with more information on the process in the fall. For now, however, the key deadline is the date by which institutions must request voter registration forms from their state election board - which for the 2006 elections was in early June for all three of the states.

Useful election resources are available on the "Your Vote, Your Voice - 2008" page on the NAICU Web site, where planning is already underway for the 2008 Presidential Election edition of the Your Vote, Your Voice campus organizing guide - a cooperative effort of nearly 50 higher education associations spearheaded by NAICU.

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