Through our Campus Vote Project (CVP), Fair Elections Center supports students’ right to vote by encouraging college administrators, faculty and election officials to work closely with students to ensure students have equal access to voter registration and voting.
Young voters must navigate an unfamiliar election process and often face barriers that suppress the vote like shifting rules for registration and voting. To overcome these factors and increase student democratic participation, CVP works with colleges and universities to institutionalize practices that embed voter registration opportunities and information about the voting process into the campus culture, and to motivate young voters by connecting the issues they care about to the democratic process.
CVP offers resources and advice on working with election officials and college administrators to achieve specific goals that allow students to participate in our democracy. Another goal of CVP is to help colleges and universities use a variety of methods to educate students about registration and voting. When this information comes directly from a familiar source, students are more likely to pay attention and trust that the messages are accurate.
CVP is also developing the leaders of tomorrow through our Student Advisory Board and our Democracy Fellow program. We have more than 60 Fellows on campuses in six states and hope to have 100 Fellows this fall. These student leaders play a critical role in motivating their peers, faculty, and administrators to take part in nonpartisan democratic engagement activities on their campuses. Our Student Advisory Board collaborates with other student leaders from across the country to help shape CVP’s work on campuses across the country.
When young voters are empowered with the information they need, they participate. Young voters tend to discount or ignore information from candidates and other partisan messengers, so working with trusted sources like administrators and faculty to deliver nonpartisan information to students increases the chance students will pay attention and act.
For more information on student voters and the work Campus Vote Project is doing to engage young people visit www.CampusVoteProject.org.
Fair Elections Center works with state partners to research policy, and provide supporting materials, talking points and legislative analysis to help block or lessen the impact of voter suppression legislation across the country.
This includes fighting strict photo voter ID laws, restrictive provisional ballot legislation, and misleading residency requirements.
The Center also promotes positive legislative reforms, including drafting bills and developing materials that support expanded access to voting through:
online voter registration,
preregistration of 16- and 17-year-olds,
improving provisional ballot counting rules,
improving poll worker recruitment and training,
expanding language assistance options and
expanding opportunities for meaningful early voting including evening and weekend hours to ensure equal access to the polls for traditionally underrepresented voters.
Fair Election Center’s legislative portfolio includes providing state specific model legislation, policy analysis, amendment drafting, talking points, and media materials.
LOCAL ELECTION INITIATIVES
Fair Elections Center facilitates discussions between elections officials and mobilization organizations to promote best practices for election administration, more cooperation during elections and better voter education programs.
Guides to Language Access
Fair Elections Center, Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC, and the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund collaborated on the three "Guides to Language Access.” These guides clarify requirements and opportunities to provide assistance and background on the issue, and outline best practices beyond the minimum requirements of the federal law and concrete examples for three audiences: election officials, policymakers, and community leaders. Each audience plays a crucial role in reaching and helping language minority communities participate in our elections.
Legislation isn’t the only way to create change in voting rights and administering elections. Local election officials and elected officials have opportunities to implement innovative approaches to solving some of the biggest problems in election administration on a smaller, local scale. Fair Elections Center has published a toolkit that outlines some best practices local governments can implement, as well as examples from localities that are already leading innovators in voter registration, poll worker recruitment and training, voter education, and other administrative practices.
Poll Worker Resource Guide
Fair Elections Center also developed a resource guide for the training and preparation of poll workers. There is no practical solution that can make a more significant and immediate impact on the voting experience of Americans that the proper training of Election Day poll workers. Ultimately, it is poll workers or election judges who are the individuals responsible for conducting our elections. Unfortunately, these individuals are almost always undertrained volunteers tasked with a job that has become increasingly difficult.