NAICU Washington Update

Your Vote, Your Voice: Campaign 2012 Update

August 30, 2012

Each federal election - and most visibly in presidential elections - the Washington higher education community conducts an ambitious voter education and registration campaign.  Under the umbrella National Campus Voter Registration Project, Your Vote, Your Voice is an important nonpartisan effort to engage campus communities  in the electoral process.  Since its inception in 1996, Your Vote, Your Voice has been spearheaded by NAICU on behalf of 50 higher education associations.

Here's what's happening with the 2012 effort as the fall semester begins and Election Day approaches.

Enhanced Online Absentee Ballot/Voter Registration

Your Vote, Your Voice has become the first organization to license a customized website providing a suite of voter services and tools.  The new site will make it easy for students and others across the nation to register to vote, or to request an absentee ballot.  U.S. Vote Foundation, a subsidiary of the Overseas Vote Foundation and longtime supporter of Your Vote, Your Voice, developed the cutting-edge technology.

Here voters can obtain state-specific voter registration and absentee ballot request forms. The site also provides a wealth of voting information – dates and deadlines, eligibility and identification requirements, election official contacts, and more.  

The new tool may also be accessed through links on the main Your Vote, Your Voice website, with still more voter education and registration information - including the latest news on colleges and voting, links to other organizations involved in voter engagement, and the popular Campus Handbook with guidance on planning campus-based activities.

Take Action - And Tell About It

Many state voter registration deadlines occur in October, so early in the fall semester is a good time for colleges to provide voter registration forms to all degree or certificate-seeking students attending class on campus.

The National Association of Secretaries of State has declared September 25 as National Voter Registration Day. The goals are to register and educate voters, mobilize volunteers, and change the conversation to one celebrating the rights that unite us as Americans.  On that day, the League of Women Voters and many partnering organizations will be participating in voter registration activities.

Sign up on the National Voter Registration Day site  to share your planned registration activities for that day.  Also, please send a brief message to so that NAICU can measure our collective participation.

The Presidential Debates - Crown Jewels of Voter Education

NAICU salutes the NAICU members selected by the Commission on Presidential Debates to host this fall's debates.  Presidential debates will be held at the University of Denver (October 3); Hofstra University (October 16); and Lynn University (October 22).  Centre College will host the single vice-presidential debate (October 11).  Washington University in St. Louis, which has been involved in the debates since 1992, will serve as the debate backup site.

Your Vote, Your Voice has once again signed on as a Voter Education Partner with the Commission on Presidential Debates.  The nonpartisan, nonprofit commission also sponsors Debate Watch.  The objective of Debate Watch is to bring citizens together to watch the debates, exchange opinions, and to share their thoughts with the commission and with the candidates.   NAICU encourages members to participate in this process.  For more information, contact the commission at (202) 872-1020.

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