Students Vote Project
Ballot Bowl

What is the California University and College Ballot Bowl?

The California University and College Ballot Bowl is a friendly competition where higher education campuses compete to register the most students to vote and showcase civic engagement efforts. The California Secretary of State Students Vote Project hosts the Ballot Bowl only during an even numbered year ahead of the general election.

The purpose of the California University and College Ballot Bowl is to:

  • Engage students to become active participants in our democracy.
  • Motivate campuses to adopt and implement policies that boost civic engagement and participation.
  • Showcase best practices and civic engagement efforts on California campuses.

How to Play

For a comprehensive overview of the competition, view the 2024 California University and College Ballot Bowl Toolkit

Eligible campuses include:

  • 116+ California Community Colleges (CCC)
  • 23 California State Universities (CSU)
  • 10 University of California campuses (UC)
  • 80+ Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities (AICCU)

The California Secretary of State Students Vote Project tracks college student voter registration with the following tools:

Online voter registration

*Registration for TurboVote and castudentvote.org will be tracked through the college student voter registration link.

Paper voter registration

How can your campus win?

The California University and College Ballot Bowl competition provides an opportunity for campuses to showcase their commitment to civic engagement and voter participation. Campuses are awarded points based on the categories below. Each category is worth up to 234 points. 

  • Categories:
    • Number of students registered to vote
    • Percentage of student body registered to vote
    • Civic and Voter Empowerment Action Plan (CVEAP) Score
  • Awards:
    • Overall Champion
      • The overall champion is determined by the college with the highest total number of points accumulated between all three categories.
    • Category Winners
      • There will be four winners per category. Each winner will be from a different higher education system.

*A campus cannot win more than one category.

Check campus progress

Student voter registration numbers are updated weekly throughout the competition. Use the following link to view campus progress: https://caballotbowl.sos.ca.gov.

Best practices

It is strongly encouraged that your campus collaborates with clubs and student leaders throughout the competition. Below is a list of methods to help increase engagement:

Below is a list of methods to help increase engagement:

  • Host voter registration tables at campus events.
  • Register students to vote during student move-in day.
  • Print and distribute voter education material in residential halls and/or in common areas on campus.
  • Post voter registration and education messaging on campus social media and/or relevant websites.

2024 Ballot Bowl Competition Dates

Monday, August 12, 2024 – Tuesday, November 5, 2024

*Check back for additional 2024 Ballot Bowl information and resources.

2022 Overall Champion: Stanford University

Shirley N. Weber, Ph.D., California Secretary of State (left), presenting the Ballot Bowl certificate to Cameron Lange, a StanfordVotes student leader (right), accepting the award.

View video of the 2022 Ballot Bowl Virtual Awards Ceremony where all winners are highlighted for their achievements.

View previous Ballot Bowl results