Fewer than one in five eligible Stanford students voted in the 2014 midterm elections. Less than 50 percent of eligible students cast their ballots in the 2016 presidential election. Overall, Stanford trails its peer research institutions by about two percent in terms of voting rate. Why is the level of civic engagement among Stanford students so low? Amid the release of these abysmal statistics, a coalition of students, faculty and staff are responding with the StanfordVotes initiative, a collective effort to improve student voter registration and engagement on campus.
Today, in honor of National Voter Registration Day, the University announced in a written statement to The Daily a new initiative to make student voting easier. The University is partnering with TurboVote, a nonprofit, nonpartisan project created by Democracy Works that aims to simplify voting by providing a centralized web-based voter engagement platform.
Stanford’s pilot partnership with UVote, a voter registration program created at Northwestern University, registered 786 students and faculty to vote this year.