Hosted with help from our friends at AASCU, we held several exciting webinars in recent weeks. During these webinars, our college and university partners came together to share implementation strategies for promoting civic engagement on campus with TurboVote.

Many thanks to our partners who joined these conversations and shared the secrets to their success! It was inspiring to hear all of the amazing stories of TurboVote implementation across the country.

You can view the 44 minute recording of one of the recent “success story” webinars here: https://aascu.adobeconnect.com/p390m7gzl2i/

To sign up for an upcoming webinar, please contact us at rsvp@turbovote.org.

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)

Today is Constitution Day, and we’re celebrating the fact that more than 200 colleges and universities now promote TurboVote as an integral part of their students’ civic education. These partners are institutionalizing voter engagement on their campuses and working to provide their students with all the materials and information they need, for every election. How better to commemorate the Constitution’s 225th anniversary?

This dedication to supporting students’ civic participation spans all corners of higher education. Our partners include both Marlboro College’s 235 students in Vermont’s Green Mountains and Ivy Tech Community College’s 31 campuses across the state of Indiana. On a map, they span from the University of Puget Sound to the Florida Keys Community College.

US map showing TurboVote partners

Half of these institutions are implementing TurboVote as part of our collaboration with NASPA and AASCU, two of the largest leadership networks in higher education. Their participation helps create stronger connections between TurboVote schools, and supports even better implementation practices across all our partners. It’s not just individual schools, it’s a community building the future of campus civic engagement.

They’re already hard at work
In the past three weeks, these partners have already signed more than 10,000 students up for TurboVote. Our top implementers so far this fall are Harvard, Elmhurst College, Miami Dade College, the University of Florida and the University of Chicago, but there’s still plenty of time for our other partners to catch up as major registration events kick off this week and next.

And we’re not done yet
Next Tuesday, Democracy Works and our TurboVote partners will celebrate National Voter Registration Day alongside more than a thousand community organizations, schools, and the National Association of Secretaries of State. Now in its third year, National Voter Registration Day is a recognized holiday for civic engagement. If you’d like to celebrate with us, send your friends to TurboVote on Tuesday, and join the conversation on the #CelebrateNVRD hashtag!

Starting today, California voters can now sign up for TurboVote and register to vote online in a single, seamless process that brings us one giant step closer to the future of voter engagement.

This is possible because California built a system that lets us automatically forward users’ data to the state’s online voter registration site. Everything a new user types into TurboVote gets passed along, so when they reach the California system, they only need to review their information, add an ID number, and click submit, instead of re-entering basic data on both sites.

A few saved keystrokes may not seem like much, but by removing all that duplicate data entry we halve the time it takes to register online and sign up for TurboVote’s lifelong election reminders. Imagine thumb-typing everything on your phone (like many of our users do), and you begin to understand how much California’s new system improves voters’ lives. And what’s more, technology like this makes it much simpler for online groups to nudge their members to register.

So, if you have friends in California who aren’t TurboVoters yet, tell them to sign up today. And if your state is one of the 19 others that offer online voter registration, well, stay tuned—we hope that California’s lead will inspire many more election offices to follow.

At Democracy Works, we believe that voting should fit the way we live. To that end, we’re building a number of voting tools and datasets that simplify the voting process. And as Election Day nears, the amount of data we’re collecting, parsing, and triple-checking grows drastically. To handle all this information, we’re recruiting additional helping hands.

This is part- or full-time work starting immediately and running through early October.

As a member of our election-data team, you’ll:

  • Support open government tools that received 25 million hits in 2012
  • Collect, reformat, and generally wrangle the thorniest of elections data
  • Converse with and charm local election officials nationwide

You are:

  • Obsessively attentive to detail
  • Great with words, both written and spoken
  • Creative in the way that understands the beauty of a well-crafted Google search
  • Passionate about civic tech, open data, and/or government 2.0

We’re based in Brooklyn, NY and prefer folks who can at least stop into the office on occasion, but we’ll consider remote work as well.

To apply, send a pithy introduction to Paul and Katy at work@democracy.works with the subject “Will work for democracy.”

We are building an awesome, diverse team, so we strongly encourage applicants of all races, colors, political party associations, religions (or lack thereof), national origins, sexual orientations, genders, sexes, ages, handicaps and branches of military service. Feel free to contact us at work@democracy.works if you have any questions about our commitment to diversity or about general hiring practices.

We are so impressed! Our incredible Summer Associate, Leslie Glotzer, just finished reaching out to our partner schools across the country to help support their implementation efforts. Now after hundreds of calls and emails, she has a few words of wisdom to share about TurboVote implementation. . .

My name is Leslie and I am a summer associate here at TurboVote. I have had the exciting task of reaching out to all of our partners over the last several weeks to learn about implementation plans for the fall. It has been wonderful to connect with many of our amazing implementers and and I can’t wait to see their creative plans come to fruition. NOTE: If your school hasn’t received a call from me, we may be missing important contact information. Please update our contact database and I’ll be sure to reach out shortly. 

Now that I’ve reached out to most of our partners, I thought I’d share some key take-aways from my outreach. For answers to other questions about implementation, please see our new FAQs for students and implementers

1) Teamwork! The best TurboVote programs come together when school administrators and student leaders work in partnership. School administrators have access to college and university resources, while student leaders often have the best ideas for how to share the word with their peers. 

2) Imitation is the best form of flattery. I’ve been sharing a lot of our “best practices” for implementation, as well as our full implementation archive with over 100 ideas so that our partners can learn from their peers. Our partners can also look up examples of success stories in their region by checking out the gold stars our partnerships map!
 
3) Bragging about success. TurboVote loves highlighting the success of our partners. If your school has a great idea, we want to hear about it! If you sign up a lot of students, we want to hear how you did it! Share your story here
 
4) More time spent doesn’t always equal greater results. Sitting outside in the sun for hours with laptops, doesn’t always result in a successful program. Nor does canvassing the entire campus with flyers. Always start with your checklist:

  • Have I sent out a school-wide email?
  • Have I made use of high-traffic opportunities such as freshman orientation, class registration, or sporting events?
  • Have I placed a TurboVote widget on my school’s website and/or intranet page? 

I’ve had a blast working at TurboVote this summer, but I have a little secret to share: I’m in your shoes too! As I head back to school at the University of Chicago, I will be leading the TurboVote implementation on my campus. Even while still working at TurboVote HQ, I have been coordinating with my fellow students back home make sure that we get a school-wide sent out this week. – Leslie
 
Learn more about TurboVote’s associates program on our blog. If you are interested in hearing about internship opportunities with TurboVote for next summer, add your name to the contact list here.

TurboVote partner implementers have access to an administrative dashboard that allows helps them to analyze the impact of their efforts, follow up with users who sign up through their site, and track other important data.

The dashboard provides tools like a graph showing user sign-ups over time, key demographic breakdowns on site users, the ability to create tracking links for different tactics or campaigns, and access to user data.

We’ve published a complete user guide to the administrative dashboard for our partners, so they can take full advantage of these tools to design and monitor their voter engagement campaigns.

Read the complete Administrative Dashboard User Guide.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.