Novel Coronavirus and COVID-19 Campus Democratic Engagement Resources
Last updated: 8/3/20
As we all adjust to the new realities of virtual learning and organizing, the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge would like to share information and resources to help support the virtual nonpartisan democratic engagement efforts of campuses. We encourage you to share these resources through email, social media, and other online outlets (e.g., course management systems like BlackBoard, Canvas). Below are various resources to help you find up-to-date election information, help you plan for fall in-person and virtual democratic engagement, and help you develop your campus democratic engagement action plan. As the current climate evolves, we’ll continue to work to find, create, and share resources to help campuses move more of their engagement online.
Please email [email protected] with additional resources you’d like us to include. We also encourage you to join our Higher Education – Student Voter Engagement (HE-SVE) Google Group to pose questions and share resources in real time.
Go to the Students Learn Students Vote coalition’s website to find local and national partners that can help support planning and implementation of democratic engagement on your campus and, in some cases, provide additional resources. The Students Learn Students Vote coalition has also put together this list of resources.
Online Voter Registration And Checking Voter Registration Status
There are 39 states plus the District of Columbia that have online voter registration. Here is a list of states and their specific online voter registration sites.
Additionally, you can use the nonpartisan website When We All Vote which will take users to their specific state online registration page. Your campus may already use a specific online voter registration tool.
For states that do not have online voter registration, you may be allowed to print a voter registration form and mail it in.
We will research and share additional resources about best practices for voter registration for states that do not have online voter registration.
Vote-By-Mail / Absentee Ballot Requests
Many students will need to vote absentee or vote-by-mail for the primaries and possibly the general election. The League of Women Voters has developed this online tool about the requirements and processes to request and secure an absentee ballot for each state.
Vote Riders has a database of identification (ID) requirements for voting absentee.
Social media and emails will always be essential ways to share information with students and the campus community. We appreciate this social media post from the University of Wisconsin about requesting an absentee ballot, Keep Calm and Request an Absentee Ballot.
National Voter Registration Day (NVRD)
Hosted on Tuesday, September 22, 2020, National Voter Registration Day (annually the fourth Tuesday of September) is a holiday to encourage us to register to vote. Your campus can prepare plans for in-person and online voter registration drives. Your campus can do social media takeovers, produce videos from campus influencers, and develop other campaigns to raise awareness about registering to vote, checking your registration status to ensure it’s correct, and prepare for election day.
Vote Early Day
Help support shorter lines during Election Day by celebrating the first-ever Vote Early Day on Saturday, October 24, 2020, to encourage more people to vote early. Host an event on campus and organize a party at the polling site or a parade or caravan to the polling site. Even if your state doesn’t have early voting, you can host an event for people to complete their mail-in ballots or research their ballots before voting on Election Day.
Sign up your campus to be a Vote Early Day partner
Plan a celebration during early voting and/or on election day at the polling places on or near campus. #VoteTogether provides toolkits to help you host a party at the polls to celebrate election day and increase voter participation.
+1 The Polls
If your campus does not have a polling site on campus, work with partners to help bring a polling place to your campus with +1 the Polls.
As you develop or update your campus democratic engagement action plan, the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge Resource Hub has example action plans, action planning guides and rubrics, and webinars to help you develop an action plan that hopefully includes some of the resources listed above.
Here are additional resources to help you Ask Every Student if they will participate in the election. We encourage all campuses to include measures to strive for full student voter participation of eligible students!
Democracy Works has developed an activity called Votes & Ballots that can help you fill in an action plan template and develop a time-based strategy poster with numerous strategy cards. This activity can be done virtually as a team and comes with an instruction video and downloadable action planning materials.
Ask Big Questions has tools to engage diverse participants in reflective conversations on big issues to build trust and understanding. This programming can be done over video conferencing platforms.
The average poll worker is over 60 years old. With evolving voting technology, an aging cohort of poll workers, and risks like COVID-19 to older populations, now more than ever it’s vital that young people become poll workers. Go to Work Elections to look up poll working opportunities, requirements, and compensation near you.