Unfortunately there have been numerous reports nationally about students being prevented from voting today.
Some pretty serious problems of students being turned away from the polls at George Mason University because their registration changes may not have been properly processed. And they didn’t even give them provisional ballots. After reporting to 866-ourvote, they’re now at least handing out provisional ballots and senior GMU administrators are now talking with the Fairfax County election board.
Similar voter suppression issues are arising elsewhere as well, for instance many Pennsylvania poll workers wrongly demanding ID despite the state’s voter ID law being blocked by a judge. So we’re hoping you can pro-actively call your key campus contacts one more time to make sure that not only are they doing their final GOTV push, but that they’re also monitoring what’s happening on the ground, helping students navigate any hurdles, and reporting any problems.
The 866-ourvote number is, as mentioned, the critical resource in that they have lawyers on call who can walk students through any problems, talk with resistant poll workers, and help them defend their rights. They’re also keeping a log of incidents and reporting them to the media in real time. The hotline had over 40,000 calls as of 10:00 AM EST. So we want to make sure students are using it if they run into individual problems, and schools are calling in to report systematic problems.
Please stay vigilant.
We’ve been happy to get all the reports coming in and seeing all the great projects in Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada and Wyoming!! Please keep sending photos and reports – this is the final week and its just as important as any other week right on through the election!
Here is a very brief summary of the Mini-Grants we awarded for the 2012 Election season! Thank you all so much for your submissions and posting here and on our Facebook page about your progress…
Its been a long, rough but fun election season for our staff! The CV2012 team traveled all over Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada searching high and low for campuses doing great work to award funds to!
Please keep us informed of your progress as we continue to march toward the polls!
One heck of a whirlwind these last couple of weeks looking for new campuses for our second round of mini-grants (last week in New Mexico)!
After 3 hours of day light in Reno it was on to Las Vegas to meet up with some students and staff at UNLV.
Hitting the road in Nevada for the second time since summer made us feel like we were campaigning! This was our first time visiting the University of Nevada – Reno – and surprise, surprise to get off the plane and find “Welcome Cowboys” signs everywhere as the U Wyoming Cowboys were on the menu for the coming weekend’s football game!
This is where the real Nevada action is – The UN-R campus was just a wonderful buzz of energy – we even got approached by Voter Registration volunteers! It was truly exciting to arrive as we had just left the campus of the Truckee Community College where we had a brief but wonderful meeting with the campus student government engagement staffer who sent us to UN-R with Sandy Rodriguez’s name….if you’re ever in Reno and see engagement operate like a well oiled machine, stop by UN-R and have a chat with Sandy and just see if you’re jaw doesn’t drop 10 times a second!
Now that we’ve launched the second round of mini-grants, it’s time to hit the road to recruit more applications. We headed out to New Mexico (the Land of Enchantment), to see if we could get some authentic Southwest flavor in the election mix.
A challenging environment in Albuquerque – it was mid-day on a Friday when we arrived – sent us to the campuses of St. John’s College and Santa Fe Community College. At SFCC we met with faculty and staff in the film and media department who were excited at the prospect of joining in the election project – we’re really amped to see what they submit in their proposal. Coincidentally, on our way back to the car, we overheard some guys working on rhyming lyrics and beat-boxing. Walking over and making a short introduction gained a short audience with rapper Arthur, a student in the school’s film program…we really hope to get an election music video submission from Arthur and his gang!
Paul in Inside Higher Ed: Check out this
Paul wrote with Alexander Astin and Parker Palmer for Inside Higher Ed, “My Vote Doesn’t Matter: Helping Students Surmount Political Cynicism.” Our state directors have been sending it out and getting great feedback.
Want to engage your school’s students in the election? To see who’s involved at nearby campuses, click on your state. Sign up here to plant your own flag and let others on your campus connect with you. People are just starting to enter their information, so please check back to see who else is participating.