NAICU Washington Update

Your Vote Your Voice and National Voter Registration Month

September 02, 2010

NAICU is proud to announce the return of Your Vote, Your Voice - a voter education, registration and get-out-the -vote project supported by the Washington Higher Education Secretariat in every federal election since 1996.

The 2010 version will consist of a brochure listing state-by-state details on voter registration, an overview of the legal requirements for colleges and universities to make voter registration forms available to their students, and a list of useful resources for voter education and participation.  All presidents of non-profit colleges and universities, public and private, will receive a copy of the brochure in the coming weeks.

In addition, Your Vote, Your Vote will once again feature a Web-based "Project Organizing Handbook" and a website with frequent updates and highlights of campus activities.  (The new site will go live in early September.)

Under the 1998 reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, colleges and universities were required to distribute hard copies of in-state voter registration forms to students prior to their state's voter registration deadline. However, NAICU led an effort during the 2008 HEA reauthorization to amend this requirement to clarify that e-mail messages with links to the state forms are acceptable.  (The messages must, however, be devoted exclusively to voter registration.)

The National Association of Secretaries of State, representing chief state election officials, has asked NAICU, through our support of Your Vote, Your Voice to help promote September 2010 as National Voter Registration Month.  Campus activities in support of voter education, registration, and civic engagement complement the goal of National Voter Registration Month, which is to make voters aware of registration deadlines and requirements, as well as to assist potential voters through the registration process.

The midterm federal elections are often considered humdrum affairs in non-presidential election years. This fall, however, promises to be a major exception, and campuses will be abuzz come Election Day, Tuesday, November 2.

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