Court Ruling Could Increase College Students’ Access to Voting, but Only if Local Supervisors’ of Elections Act
National groups send letter to Florida college administrators urging them to advocate for sites on their campuses
September 13, 2018
Washington, D.C. – With the 2018 midterms rapidly approaching and the deadline for local Supervisor’s of Elections in Florida to complete plans for early voting sites college student voters got some welcome news this summer. After a District Court ruling earlier this summer, local Supervisors’ of Elections may now designate any campus facility as an early voting site if it is a permanent public library facility, civic center, stadium, convention center, or government-owned community center, or otherwise falls under the statutory categories.
In the seven weeks since the ruling, several Supervisors of Elections, including those from Alachua, Hillsborough, Leon, and Orange counties, have moved quickly to add early voting sites to campuses. Fair Elections Center’s Campus Vote Project and NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education commend the leadership of these Supervisors of Elections and call on other Supervisors of Elections to follow suit. Today, Campus Vote Project and NASPA sent letters to nearly 60 institutions of higher education in Florida to inform senior campus leadership and student government associations about these updates to election administration and encourage them to contact their Supervisor of Elections to discuss locating early voting sites on their campuses.
“Given the number of students, faculty, and staff at colleges and universities, we know locating early voting sites on campuses is a tremendous way to serve large numbers of voters a
cross the state,” said Mike Burns the National Director for Campus Vote Project.
Stephanie King, NASPA’s Director of Civic Engagement and Knowledge Community Initiatives noted, “With 40% of Floridians casting ballots at early voting sites in 2016, increasing access to early voting for students, faculty, and staff at colleges and universities is a crucial way to increase civic participation and further the civic mission of higher education.”