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Civic Engagement Initiative

Scripps College students take their commitment to civic engagement seriously. Year after year, the number of voting-eligible students who registered and ultimately voted outpaces the national average by significant margins. Our voting rate (percentage of eligible students who voted) in the 2020 national election was 86.6%. This is more than 20 points higher than the national average of 66%. We mean business. Read on and find out how you can be part of the action, whether through voting or engaging with the issues and candidates that matter to you.

Register

Voting registration is handled by the individual states, usually by the Secretary of State’s office. Processes and deadlines vary; some states allow online registration and others do not. Make sure you are following the correct process for your state. Below are examples of websites that consolidate registration and voting information and help streamline the process. (Inclusion does not imply endorsement by the College. Always exercise caution when asked to disclose personal identifying information.)

TurboVote makes it easy to register and request absentee ballots by keeping track of voter registration, absentee, and vote-by-mail rules for all 50 states. TurboVote will send you text & email reminders about registration deadlines, upcoming elections & where to vote.

Vote.org is the largest 501(c)(3) nonprofit, nonpartisan voting registration and get-out-the-vote (GOTV) technology platform in America. It has registered more than 4.5 million new voters, verified 10.5 million voters’ registration status, and has helped over 39 million website users by providing registration links and deadlines, polling location details, and other essential voting information for each state.

Before the Polls

Make a Voting Plan! Creating a voting plan gives you the opportunity to identify any barriers that may prevent you from voting. Questions such as:  What time will  you be voting? Is a mail-in ballot an option? Are you going to the polls? How will you get there? Do you have the necessary documents to vote? Check out our guide (above) for more.

Get to the Polls  is a voter lookup tool that helps voters identify where to vote or return their ballot, what’s on their ballot, and how to contact their state and local election officials by simply entering their address.

Other Resources

Rock the Vote is a nonpartisan nonprofit dedicated to building the political power of young people. Rock the Vote draws on decades of experience to deploy the most effective and impactful messages, tactics, and technology to uplift and empower the largest, most diverse generation in U.S. history. They do this while also pioneering innovative ways to make democratic participation more accessible and defending young people’s right to vote.

Ballottrax notifies you when your mail-in ballot is received as well as notifies you if there is a discrepancy. Not available for every county in the US; check availability where you live and vote.

Election officials page lookup allows you to search your state and region to find more information on your local election officials.

Election officials twitter list to follow helps you find the twitters of election officials so you can see what they’ve been talking about.

Election protection allows you to text or call 1-866-OUR-VOTE or tweet @866OURVOTE if you experience issues while voting.

Pizza to the Polls allows you to get a free pizza delivered to the polling place for you and your line buddies if there are long lines. Just submit a photo!

You’ve registered – excellent! Put your vote to best use by learning as much as you can about the candidates and issues on the ballot.

Ballotpedia is an online nonprofit and nonpartisan organization that covers American federal, state, and local elections and politics. The goal of Ballotpedia is to inform people about politics with accurate and objective information on political candidates.

Bursting the Bias Bubble Our vote is most effective when we’re confident that the person or issue on the ballot reflects our values. However, when any given source of information may contain bias, how do we know when we’re seeing truth? Here are some steps you can take to filter the facts from the bias.

Pew Research Center Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping the world. It conducts public opinion polling, demographic research, media content analysis and other empirical social science research.

Find out how to become a poll worker in your area through WorkElections.com.  (You might even get paid!)

Volunteer with When We All Vote.org, a non-profit, nonpartisan organization working to increase participation in every election and close the race and age voting gap.

You can also volunteer with Election Protection to help make sure everyone stays safe while voting. They have both online and in person opportunities.

Find out where you can volunteer, donate, and get involved where you’re needed most at VoteSaveAmerica.com

Put your talents to work supporting a candidate or issue in your local community. Search by political party, candidate, referendum, ballot initiative, or cause that you care about and look for volunteer information.

The Laspa Center launched the Civic Engagement Initiative in Fall 2019 as a nonpartisan program to educate students about voter rights and electoral processes, empower students to be civically engaged, and equip students to become leaders in public policy. The Laspa Center views civic engagement as a form of leadership because it promotes engagement from the community and allows those who participate to educate and empower others.