ADP in the News is a compilation of brief updates about American Democracy Project (ADP) activities at participating colleges and universities and is a semi-regular news feature on our blog. Below you will find the latest edition of this series.
Indiana State University: An ISU event sponsored by ADP helped students realize the importance of voting, and some participants registered for the first time.
Fort Hays State University (Kan.): Held a poster competition, “Let Your Voice Be Heard!” The class assignment resulted in an unprecedented landslide of social media engagement for the university. FHSU’s ADP is also educating their students on the importance of voting and plan to register about 300 students using TurboVote. Find out more here.
Illinois State University: The American Democracy Project and School of Communication had their annual “Social Issues Fair” on November 9th. This event brings together students to “encourage and engage dialogue” on current political and social issues.
University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh: Along with ADP, Oshkosh has created a webpage to inform their students on local voting information.
Northeastern Illinois University: The Second Economic Inequality Initiative event, held on Oct. 29, served to encourage students to confront, through critical discussion, the roots of economic inequality — and to challenge students to adopt an active role in addressing their solutions.
Rhode Island College: RIC shared their ADP photos on Pinterest.
University of Central Oklahoma: The UCO American Democracy Project organized efforts throughout the fall semester that resulted in 3.8 percent of Central’s full-time student body registering to vote for the first time.
University of Nebraska- Kearney: Tom Clemente, an expert on genetically modified organisms spoke about biotechnology in agriculture as part of their Science Café program.
If you have an ADP event you’d like posted in this format, please email email@example.com.
Cook County in Illinois has been looking for students to serve as poll workers for the March 15, 2016 Presidential Primary election. This opportunity will allow students to learn about the election process, strengthen local democracy, and students will get paid for their service. Students have the opportunity to take one of two positions; Election Judge or Equipment Manager.
Northeastern Illinois University, an ADP campus, had 198 students participate in the program, which was the 5th highest among area colleges and universities.
This program is the largest poll worker program in the country with 51 colleges and universities participating. According to the case study’s report community college students were more likely to serve a second time. This program has seen increased efficiency and there were three wards where student participation solved poll worker shortages.
Do you think your students would like to partake in such an opportunity? For more information click here.
By Gabriel Arteaga, National Manager, The Democracy Commitment (TDC)
New America hosted a discussion recently on the Voting Rights Act called, The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America. The discussion was led by Mark Schmitt, director of political reform at New America. He was joined by journalist and author, Ari Berman and Nicole Austin-Hillery, director and counsel at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law.
This past August, marked the 50th anniversary of the 1965 Voting Rights Act (VRA), however there have been recent attempts nationally to restrict access to the voting booth, by restrictive voting ID laws and limited voting hours. In his book titled, Give Us the Ballot: provides a historical context to the VRA, argues that while the VRA was a cornerstone of the Civil Rights movement and it provided the right to vote for millions of Americans, he believes battles are still being waged over race, representation, and political power even to this day.
Nicole Austin-Hillery from the Brennon Center for Justice certainly added to this discussion and offered her belief that the history of this country is about expanding our rights, not suppressing it or making it harder for citizens to be a part our democratic system. She believes in the framework of our county and that regardless of where you stand on the issue, it is of the utmost importance for all of us to focus on voting rights, because it will ensure the growth and vibrancy of our democracy. She offered a solution to some of the issues surrounding voter suppression, by working to modernize voter registration. The Brennon Center has a report that outlines the case for modernizing voter registration, which can be found here.
While at times the discussion seemed a bit daunting, both speakers reminded us that this work requires a lot of effort, but are confident that one day we will achieve a free and equal democratic process.
If you would like your students to hear from these two great thought leaders on voting and civil rights, you may watch the full discussion on the New America website here.
As a part of the ADP/TDC Electoral Engagement Resources, we’ve created a document with ways in which colleges and universities can engage their students.
The document has resources to measure current areas of growth for individual universities’ democratic engagement efforts. It also lists suggested resources on how to approach expanding democratic engagement efforts on campuses as well as organizations and projects that can assist in the process.
ADP and TDC campuses are encouraged to utilize these resources to engage students in upcoming elections.
Download Engaging Campuses (pdf)
Don’t forget: National Voter Registration Day is September 22nd!
The ADP/TDC Electoral Engagement Resources now features a document on voter education websites to help college students better inform themselves in preparation for Election Day.
Listed websites will assist students in finding factual information about the candidates on the ballot. Other websites feature voting information. One source students may find to be particularly useful is the candidate matching quiz. This website asks users to take a quiz about their beliefs and then matches the responses to the best fit candidate of the 2016 presidential election.
ADP and TDC institutions are encouraged to promote these educational resources on their campuses.
Download Voter Education Websites (pdf)
Don’t forget: National Voter Registration Day is September 22nd!