California Colleges Commit to Supporting Voter Engagement

By Emily Rusch
Executive Director

Earlier this week the Secretary of State announced a groundbreaking new partnership with Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom and all three public systems of higher education to encourage eligible students to register and vote. CALPIRG Education Fund's New Voters Project is proud to have played a supporting role in the project. Learn more about the formalized partnership to increase student voter participation. 

FIRST: CALPIRG Students Board Chair Liam Horstick and CALPIRG Campus Organizer Matt Gough meet with UC President Janet Napolitano after UC adopts the agreement
SECOND: CALPIRG staff and students with Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and Secretary of State Alex Padilla
THIRD: Secretary of State Alex Padilla and CALPIRG Education Fund Executive Director Emily Rusch rock sunglasses
FOURTH: CALPIRG staff and students with members of the CA Community College Board of Governors and Secretary of State Padilla after they adopt the agreement

We hope this groundbreaking agreement for youth voter engagement serves as a model for local community college districts and private institutions to consider adopting, as well as campuses outside California. Commitments to do simple things like sending out all-campus emails and providing pop-up voter registration reminders on commonly used campus webpages can have a significant impact on students’ voter registration rates. We’re particularly excited about the commitment by the UCs to test out a model for using already available student information to help make registering to vote online even easier.

In the meantime, with one month before the voter registration deadline, the CALPIRG student chapters are currently recruiting volunteers to help out with the non-partisan voter registration and get-out-the-vote efforts we're spearheading on a dozen campuses across the state. Check out

All across the state, CALPIRG campus organizers and students are running trainings and recruiting volunteers to help register students to vote, ask them to pledge to vote, including holding trainings for student government leaders and other student groups on campus.


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