The Ballot Bowl was developed by the California Students Vote Project (CSVP), a project of the California Secretary of State in partnership with then California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom and a coalition of nonprofit organizations in 2016. The CSVP aims to increase civic engagement and voter participation among California university and college students.

On August 20, 2018, the Secretary of State’s office kicked off the inaugural California University and College Ballot Bowl. The competition ended on October 22, 2018, the deadline to register or update one’s voter registration information for the November 6, 2018, General Election. The Ballot Bowl included all of California’s major higher education systems, including the California Community Colleges (CCC), California State University (CSU), University of California (UC), the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities (AICCU) systems.

This friendly competition was designed to encourage universities and colleges to engage their students in the democratic process and register them to vote. Under the California Ballot Bowl, more than 45 public and private institutions participated and worked together to register more than 10,000 students to vote in the General Election.

Registration for the 2020 Ballot Bowl is now closed!

  • The Secretary of State’s Office is proud to announce that over 82,000 Californian college students registered to vote during the 2020 Ballot Bowl competition. This is a tremendous growth from the nearly 21,000 college students who registered to vote using the Secretary of State's website the entire year of 2016. This is the result of the hard work and dedication of student leaders, campus administrators, and outside stakeholders alike. 
  • Full results of the competition will be posted on the following URL ( by November 16th, 2020. 

Who can register to vote?

When registering students to vote on your campus, please make it clear that voters must meet specific criteria before they can register. You can only register to vote if you are:

  • A United States citizen and a resident of California,
  • Not currently in state or federal prison or on parole for the conviction of a felony (for more information on the rights of people who have been incarcerated, please see the Secretary of State's Voting Rights: Persons with a Criminal History), and
  • Not currently found mentally incompetent to vote by a court (for more information, please see Voting Rights: Persons Subject to Conservatorship)
  • 18 years old or older on Election Day.

If students are not eligible to register to vote, they can still get involved with elections by registering other students to vote and promoting the Ballot Bowl via strategies outlined in the Student Tool Kit.

Ballot Bowl Timeline:

Monday, August 17th, 2020 to Tuesday, November 3rd, 2020

Ballot Bowl Timeline:

Monday, August 17th, 2020: Registration for Ballot Bowl Begins.
Monday, October 19th, 2020: Voter Registration Deadline (E-15)

Tuesday, November 3rd 2020: Election Day/Ballot Bowl Challenge Ends.

*Tentative Date: Monday, November 16th, 2020: Ballot Bowl Winners Presented with Award(s)

Thank you for your interest in the California University and College Ballot Bowl. For any further information or questions, please contact us at -