Students have the right to vote in the towns and cities where they attend college. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld this right in 1979. However, students have confronted false information and hostile community members that have tried to prevent them from voting where they attend school.
FELN has been active in supporting students right to vote by encouraging election officials and college administrators to work closely with students to ensure that students have equal access to voter registration and voting. Voters under 30 will make up at least 24% of the voting population in 2012. However, only 22.8% of eligible young people voted in 2010, compared to 40.8% of all voters. Studies show that young people are no less engaged with the issues or the political process, but that restrictions such as residency rules and strict identification requirements create barriers to voting that disproportionately affect their rights. These restrictions particularly affect college students because they move frequently. In addition, local election officials are sometimes hostile to the voting rights of college students.
In addition, FELN provides the following resources:
- CVP Toolkit with the tools to help create a plan to activate your campus.
- Best practices for campus administrators that highlight successful strategies to encourage student voting
- A policy brief entitled “Student and Youth Registration and Voting” that details barriers to student voting and solutions
- State-specific voter registration and GOTV guides addressing issues that disproportionately affect students
- Frequent blog entries on FELN’s blog and The Huffington Post that describe developments in student voter rights.
- Student are often given misinformation about voting on campus. To combat this, FELN compiled a set of answers to frequently asked questions and general concerns about student voting.
Campus Vote Project
FELN introduced Campus Vote Project (CVP) in the winter of 2012 to empower student activists with resources to break down barriers to voting. CVP offers step-by-step advice on working with election officials and college administrators to achieve specific goals that will allow students to participate in our democracy. For a summary of the resouces CVP can offer students and administrators click here.
FELN Reports, Guides and Other Resources
- College Students and Voting: A Campus Vote Project Perspective
- Issue Brief: Student and Youth Registration and Voting
- Mobilizing the Millennial Generation for 2012
- Best Practices to Help Students Register and Vote
- Important Information for Student Team Leaders Supervising Student Voter Registration Drives
- Barriers to Student Registration and Voting
- Student Voting FAQs
General Student Voting Guide and Student Voting Guides for Several States
- New Project Launched to Increase Student Voting
- New Voting Laws Prompt Efforts to Educate Students Across Nation
- Fair Elections Legal Network Launches Campus Vote Project