What is the California Students Vote Project?
California Students Vote Project Overview
Established in 2016, the California Secretary of State (SOS) Students Vote Project (SVP) is a statewide nonpartisan program that elevates college student voices and promotes civic engagement efforts to build a more inclusive democracy. Through the creation of the Students Vote Project, California was the first state in the nation to build partnerships across the state’s major higher education systems to empower students to participate in the democratic process. The program objectives include increasing college student voter education, voter registration, and outreach. The program achieves these objectives by hosting civic engagement events, creating educational resources, and partnering with campuses and outreach organizations.
As part of the commitment to the overall program goals and objectives, the SVP team develops programming to assist in increasing voter registration and education. One program is the California University and College Ballot Bowl. Created in 2018, the Ballot Bowl is a friendly competition where all California higher education systems can compete to register the most students to vote.
The Student Civic and Voter Empowerment Act
In 2019, the Student Civic and Voter Empowerment Act (SCVEA; Ed. Code sections 66850-66852, Elec. Code section 2148.5) was enacted to give California colleges and universities the necessary tools to increase civic engagement and participation among young voters. In 2020, the California Secretary of State Students Vote Project was expanded to support and ensure implementation of the law. The law requires the California SOS to work directly with the California Community Colleges (CCCs) and California State Universities (CSUs) to increase college student voter registration numbers. Colleges are encouraged to participate in civic learning opportunities to receive and distribute voter education resources created by the SVP. While the University of California (UC) and the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities (AICCU) campuses are not required to participate, they continue to be strong partners and supporters of student civic engagement.
The Student Civic and Voter Empowerment Act states all California State Universities and California Community Colleges identify an individual on campus to be a Civic and Voter Empowerment Coordinator (CVEC). The CVEC is responsible for ensuring the duties outlined in the SCVEA are implemented on their campus.
Civic and Voter Empowerment Coordinators include, but are not limited to:
- Government Relation Directors
- Student Life Directors
- College/University staff that work closely with students
If you are the CVEC for your campus, please complete the appropriate form by clicking one of the links below:
Information and Resources
SVP Office Hours
Office Hours are a designated time when the SVP team is available to provide support, guidance, and resources. Office Hours demonstrates commitment to engaging with colleges, universities, college students, and organizations by dedicating a time each week to guarantee availability.
Office Hours are currently held on Thursdays, from 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM PT.
Schedule a time: https://calendar.app.google/NTa8ynPEyjh73w6k8
To meet outside Office Hours, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an alternative time.
SVP Programming & Civic Engagement Resources
View our programming and resources page which includes a list of educational materials, important California civic and election dates, voter guides and more.
Who can register to vote?
You can register to vote if you are:
- A United States citizen and a resident of California
- 18 years old or older on Election Day
- Not currently in a state or federal prison for the conviction of a felony
- Not currently found mentally incompetent to vote by a court
*ATTENTION ALL COLLEGE STUDENTS: If you meet the criteria above, please use the following link to register to vote: Registertovote.ca.gov/?t=s. This unique link will allow the name of the college you attend to be included in your voter registration.
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