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SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The California Community Colleges Board of Governors today endorsed a nonpartisan effort by the California secretary of state to increase voter registration and civic participation by students from all segments of public higher education.
The partnership between the Secretary of State’s office and the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office encourages all 72 districts and 113 colleges to participate in the California Students Vote Project.*
“I am proud of the momentum building across the state at our postsecondary institutions around student voter registration,” said Secretary of State Alex Padilla. “This effort has been a long time in the making and is an exciting first step, but the real work is about to begin. I look forward to working with each California community college campus to ensure best practices are adopted, they receive the support they need from my office, and together, we finally close the voting gap.”
The resolution, adopted unanimously by the board of governors, highlights the current state of student voter registration efforts and encourages all community colleges to adopt a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Secretary of State’s office. Partnerships between the California Students Vote Project and the University of California and California State University have also been approved.
The MOU encourages campuses to implement best practices as outlined by the California Students Vote Project which include: asking students during optimal time periods or via their student portals to register to vote, sending all-campus emails and notifications about the importance of voting before voter registration deadlines and elections, and implementing said practices for on-the-ground voter registration efforts. Partnerships between the California Students Vote Project and the University of California and California State University have also been approved.
“An informed and engaged electorate is vital to holding our institutions accountable and improving the wellbeing of our state and our nation,” said Geoffrey L. Baum, president of the Board of Governors. “Community colleges can play a vital role in educating students who go on to keep our economy and democracy strong. We are pleased to join this nonpartisan effort to increase voter registration and civic participation among our 2.1 million students.”
At its last meeting which was held on September 6, 2016 the Santa Monica Community College Board of Trustees approved the MOU.
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The Secretary of State’s office created a webpage which hosts resources for campuses, faculty and students for frequently asked questions related to voting, sample posters, sample social media posts for voter registration efforts, key deadlines and dates, and a guide to facilitate voter registration drives.
To visit the California Students Vote Project page, click here: http://www.sos.ca.gov/castudentsvote
*The California Students Vote Project is a public-private effort led by the California Secretary of State’s office in partnership with the California Lieutenant Governor’s office, and three nonprofit organizations; CalPIRG, California Common Cause, and Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus. These groups recognize that a healthy democracy must include the voices of California’s next generation. The California Students Vote Project is advocating for the implementation of student voter registration best practices at all of California’s public colleges and universities.
The California Students Vote Project has the potential to dramatically increase voter engagement in upcoming elections.
The California Community Colleges is the largest system of higher education in the nation composed of 72 districts and
113 colleges serving 2.1 million students per year. Community colleges supply workforce training, basic skills education in English and math, and prepare students for transfer to four-year institutions. The Chancellor’s Office provides leadership, advocacy and support under the direction of the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges. For more information about the community colleges, please visit http://californiacommunitycolleges.cccco.edu/, https://www.facebook.com/CACommColleges, or https://twitter.com/CalCommColleges.