Today, in celebration of National Voter Registration Day, the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) and NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education announced that 100 member institutions have adopted TurboVote, an innovative “one-stop-shop” voter engagement platform, thanks to a partnership between two higher education associations and the nonpartisan nonprofit technology organization, Democracy Works.
A product of Democracy Works, TurboVote makes it easy for students to register to vote, request an absentee ballot, and sign up for text and email reminders with important election information, dates and deadlines.
With TurboVote, AASCU and NASPA member institutions are taking steps to institutionalize voter engagement by integrating the technology into established processes such as freshman orientation and class registration. By embedding the platform into critical student interactions, they ensure that every student will have the materials and information he or she needs to vote in every election.
“The University of Central Oklahoma’s partnership with TurboVote is an amazing opportunity to enhance the civic engagement of our students, faculty and staff,” said Janelle Grellner, Ph.D., professor of psychology and director of Central’s American Democracy Project. “Changing registration rates, voter knowledge and voting behavior is something we can start here on our campus as we strive to graduate competent, confident and civically-minded citizens. TurboVote will supercharge our efforts.”
When students sign up with TurboVote, the system keeps track of all their elections—local, state and national. If students wish to register, update their addresses or request absentee ballots, TurboVote sends them the necessary forms and information with pre-addressed, pre-stamped envelopes, and then sends reminders to ensure that users never miss another election.
“NASPA members have a unique opportunity to promote democratic engagement across the many channels of the co-curriculum,” says NASPA President Kevin Kruger. “We are excited to add TurboVote to the tools used to educate students for citizenship both inside and outside the classroom.”
TurboVote’s platform helps colleges and universities meet federal mandates that require institutions provide students with voter registration information. With help from AASCU and NASPA, TurboVote hopes to support institutions in meeting these mandates and set a new standard for voter engagement in higher education.
George Mehaffy, AASCU’s vice president for academic leadership and change, notes, “This partnership sends an important message to institutional leaders that democratic engagement should be a part of every student’s college education.”
(See the entire list of institutions in the NASPA/AASCU TurboVote cohort)